By Ugochukwu Alaribe – Umuahia
Abia state government has relaxed the curfew imposed on Aba and Umuahia cities following the hijack of the EndSARS protest by hoodlums who razed public and private properties in Aba.
Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, who disclosed in Umuahia, stated that the curfew will now hold from 6pm to 6 am from Sunday, 25th October 2020, and urged people not engage in any activity that will further hurt their welfare.
He further explained markets would be reopened during the day while security agencies have been mobilized to protect the markets as well as key public and private infrastructure in the state.
In his words; “After due review and consideration of the current security situation in the state, and the readiness of security agencies to effectively contain any act of criminality by any person or group(s) of persons, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has directed that the prevailing curfew as imposed on Aba and Umuahia be relaxed to now be 6pm to 6am from Sunday, 25th October 2020.
“All markets in the affected areas are to be reopened during the day while market committees and security teams mobilize adequate security to watch over the markets at night and during the day. We encourage our people to form vigilantes and neighborhood watch to safeguard themselves and stop those wishing to visit harm on the people.”
The Commissioner further stated that the government has received reports about strange individuals moving into the state en mass and warned hotel owners to properly scrutinize new guests and report suspicious persons to security agents for appropriate review.
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“We also wish to inform the general public that we have received reports that some yet to be identified enemies of Ndigbo are still planning to unleash mayhem and burn down some major markets in the state in order to cause sorrow and tears to the hardworking people of the state and possibly provoke a total breakdown of law and order.
“We further appeal to those behind the dastardly plot aimed at frustrating the livelihood of Ndigbo several of whom are still struggling to recover from the devastating effects of COVID-19 pandemic to have a rethink.
“All commercial tricycle operators are directed to vacate the roads during the curfew to avoid being caught in the evil plans of armed hoodlums hiding under the noble cause of genuine #EndSARS protests to perpetrate acts of brigandage, arson, armed robbery and other violent crimes.”