Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau has relaxed the 24-hour curfew earlier imposed on Jos South and Jos North local government areas with effect from Oct. 23.
The governor, who announced the review in a statement issued by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Danladi Atu on Thursday in Jos, said that the curfew would now hold from 6 am. to 8 pm., until further notice.
He said that the review was part of the recommendations made at a high level stakeholders’ meeting, held with heads of security agencies, traditional, community and religious leaders on Wednesday to discuss ways of deescalating further tension in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the governor had, on Oct. 20, imposed a 24-hour curfew on the two council areas, following the killings, destruction of property and worship centres as a result of the #EndSARS protest.
He said that the decision was reached after extensive deliberations with the critical stakeholders and careful assessment of the security situation, which led to the skirmishes in some parts of the affected local government areas.
Lalong said that government was not unmindful of the citizens’ constitutional rights to hold lawful assembly and stage peaceful protests, as long as they were carried out within the ambit of the law.
“As a deliberate approach to prevent a repeat of Tuesday’s ugly incident, government has banned processions and protests, under whatever guise, in order to safeguard the lives of the citizens of the state,” the governor said.
This, he said, was to enable government isolate and deal with those who were bent on disrupting the peace of the state.
“By this notice, we urge all law-abiding citizens to go about their legitimate businesses without fear of molestation, as government has put all necessary measures in place to ensure the maintenance of law and order across the state.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Plateau government has already set machinery in motion to address the demands raised by the protesters.
“In the light of this, government has constituted a committee headed by a retired High Court judge, Justice Philomena Lot, which has since swung into action and ready to receive petitions from those who have cases.
“We sue for understanding and patience from all and sundry, as government takes decisive steps to address the demands of the protesters in the coming weeks,” he said.
Lalong, therefore, called on citizens to avoid any action that might be inimical to the peace, unity and the overall development of the state.