Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers has imposed curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. at all entry and exit points with neighbouring states of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Imo.
Mr Wike announced in a state broadcast on Tuesday that the curfew, which will take effect from Wednesday night, was necessitated by recent security breaches and deadly attacks.
“The Government of Rivers State has decided to restrict night movements in and out of the state from the land borders of the state.
“Consequently, a night curfew is hereby imposed and no person or vehicle is allowed in and out of Rivers State from 8.00 p.m. to 6.00 a.m. from Wednesday, 28 April until further notice.
“We wish to advise that those who have any legitimate need or reason to come into or go out of the state must do so before 8.00 p.m. when the curfew shall come into force daily,” the governor said.
He stated that security agencies had been posted to monitor and enforce strict compliance with the curfew at all borders, entry and exit points with Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Imo states.
He said on April 24, ”innocent officers of Customs, Police and Civil Defence on duty along the Port Harcourt – Owerri expressway were ambushed and gruesomely murdered in cold blood by armed attackers”.
“Similarly on Sunday, the state witnessed another deadly attack and killing of officers and men of the Nigerian Army right at Abua town in Abua Odual Local Government Area,” he said.
Mr Wike stated that the security agencies were investigating these attacks with a view to bringing the perpetrators to justice, adding that ”nobody knew where and when the next attack would take place”.
“Neither do we also know the motives of the deranged characters or groups behind these senseless assaults on our state and the lives of security operatives working to keep us safe and secure.
“However, what is obvious is that the attackers and their sponsors are people who came from outside Rivers State.
“As a government, we are determined to doing everything within our powers to prevent re-occurrence of such murderous acts aimed at creating an atmosphere of gross insecurity and panic among citizens.
“In view of its implications on the security of the state and citizens, and in discharge of our constitutional responsibility, the government has decided to impose restrictions.
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“The restrictions would affect movements into and out of the state from the land borders of the state,” he said.
The governor urged all citizens of the state to be vigilant and report every useful intelligence or suspicious movements to the security agencies for immediate action.
He also advised the people ”to understand that these are strange times and nothing could be more paramount than their collective safety and security”.
Several police officers and other security officials have been killed lately in what appeared to be a coordinated attack against security agencies in Nigeria’s South-east and South-south regions.
Two days ago, some gunmen suspected to be IPOB, a pro-Biafra group that has been proscribed by the Nigerian government, attacked the country home of the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma.
The South-east governors and other leaders hurriedly called a meeting to discuss the security challenges in the region after the attack on Mr Uzodinma’s home which was partly set ablaze.