Wike declares 24-hr curfew as eight die in Rivers - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

Wike declares 24-hr curfew as eight die in Rivers

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By Austin Oboh

Governor Nyesom Wike has imposed a 24-hour curfew on Oyigbo council area following the sudden violent nature of the #EndSARS protests in parts of Rivers State.

“A 24-hour curfew has been imposed on Mile 1, Mile 2, Emenike, Ikokwu and Iloaubuchi arears of Port Harcourt from 6.30 p.m. today, October 21, 2020.

“A 24-hour curfew has been imposed on the entire Oyigbo Local Government Area from 6.30 p.m. today, October 21, 2020, a 24-hour curfew has also been imposed on Oil Mill area in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area,” he ordered.

The protests, yesterday, resulted in the death of eight persons and burning of three police stations at Oyigbo, Afam and Umuegbulem in Etche and Oyigbo local councils of the state.

Three police officers were said to have been killed by rampaging hoodlums, who invaded the Police Area Command along the Port Harcourt/Aba expressway, and set the armoured tank stationed at the entrance ablaze. They subsequently proceeded to burning the entire building.

At Oil Mill Junction, three persons were feared dead after the protesters clashed with some traders who obstructed their procession.

Also, two persons died at Emenike Junction in Mile 1, Diobu, Port Harcourt, after being hit by stray bullets.
Major police posts were deserted, while the force headquarters was barricaded and manned by plain clothe operatives.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Nnamdi Omoni, who confirmed the incidents, said the force could not immediately give detailed information, but promised to do so in due course.

Announcing the restriction in a statewide broadcast yesterday in Port Harcourt, the governor extended the embargo to Mile 1, Mile 2, Emenike, Ikowu and Iloaubuchi areas of Port Harcourt Local Government Area, as well as Oil Mill area of Obio-Akpor council area.

In a statement, his Special Assistant (Media), Kelvin Ebiri, said the decision was taken after a State Security Council meeting, which held earlier in the day at the Government House, Port Harcourt.

Wike said while the state government appreciates and commends the peaceful nature of the ongoing demonstrations, “it was becoming clearer by the day that the protest had been hijacked by hoodlums to unleash carnage.”

The governor stated: “Earlier today (yesterday), some hoodlums attacked and destroyed police stations and court buildings in Oyigbo Local Government Area of the state. Another set of hooligans were also on rampage at the Ikokwu spares market, disturbing public peace and damaging property.”

He maintained that his administration would not watch helplessly while miscreants tamper with the prevailing peace in the oil-rich state.