Abia State Government has imposed a 24-hour curfew on the two major cities of Umuahia and Aba, following the alleged killing of a police officer (name withheld) in Aba on Monday night.
The Commissioner for Information, John Okiyi-Kalu, announced this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia on Tuesday.
Okiyi-Kalu stated that the curfew would take effect from 6pm on Tuesday, October 20.
He stated that the deceased was allegedly murdered after a police patrol van was attacked by at least 30 hoodlums, who reportedly hijacked the EndSARS protest in Aba.
He stated that the measure became necessary to forestall further breach of the peace and ensure the security of lives and property of law-abiding citizens in the state.
He stated: “Last night, a contingent of police officers on official duty around Azikiwe/Asa Road in Aba was attacked by hoodlums, numbering over 30 and sadly killed one of the officers.
“The hoodlums also carted away police arms and ammunition, even though one of the suspected attackers was apprehended with gunshot injuries.”
The commissioner further stated that Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu had approved a cash reward of N5 million for anyone that provided information that could lead to the arrest of the hoodlums.
“This is in addition to the approval of N1 million reward for each authentic video evidence to be submitted to the Judicial Panel of Inquiry into brutality and extra judicial killings by security agents in Abia.
Okiyi-Kalu urged parents and guardians to restrain their children and wards from engaging in nefarious activities that disrupt the peace in the state.
Mr Onyebuchi Ememanka, the Chief Press Secretary to Ikpeazu, said that the state Executive Council (EXCO) decided to impose the curfew to enable government to bring the tensed situation in Aba and Umuahia under control.
“EXCO took the decision for a 24-hour curfew as an immediate and interim measure to ensure that the situation is brought under control.
“No responsible government will fold its arms and watch hoodlums unleash mayhem on innocent citizens.
“It was learnt that hoodlums hijacked what ordinarily was a peaceful protest in Aba against police brutality.
“EXCO will go ahead to review the curfew after 6 pm on Wednesday, depending on the situation on ground,” Ememanka said in an interview with NAN. (NAN)