Rivers state Governor Nyesom Wike, on Friday, outlawed the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOP) from operating in the state following the alleged destruction of lives and property in the state by persons suspected to be members of the disbanded group.
The governor had earlier imposed curfew in Oyigbo Local Government Area, and parts of Port Harcourt City LGA, following the mayhem witnessed in the areas in the past two days.
According to our Correspondent, hoodlums high-jacked the #ENDSARS protests, and subsequently looted shops and departmental stores in Port Harcourt City LGA.
The IPOB on Thursday, allegedly set ablaze several government establishments in Oyigbo LGA, and also destroyed properties belonging to individuals, especially those who hailed from the Northern parts of the country.
Several soldiers were reportedly drafted to the area to save lives and properties of Northerners.
Unconfirmed reports said about 8 persons were killed by the soldiers who fired indiscriminately to prevent supposedly IPOB members from destroying government property in the area.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Rivers state Police Command, Nnamdi Omoni, a superintendent of police, in a statement obtained by SummitNews, said three police stations in the state were attacked on Wednesday by persons suspected to members of the proscribed IPOB.
He said the men number about 500 invaded the Oyigbo Area Command, Oyigbo and Afam Police Stations, setting them ablaze and damaging about fifteen vehicles including one Armored Personnel Carrier (APC).
The PPRO continued: “In the wake of the attack, two Police Officers were killed and some arms and ammunitions carted away by the hoodlums.
“In another attack at the Mile one Police Station, the same rampaging IPOB members who operated under the guise of #ENDSARS Protests made frantic attempt at burning the Mile One Police Station and the office of Eagle Crack Squad, but were, however, repelled by the superior fire power of the Police, as three of them were fatally wounded in the exchange of gunfire, while eight (8) of them were arrested and immediately transferred to State CID where they are currently helping in our investigation.
“We have been able to stabilize the Command, though there are still pockets of threats from their remnants at the fringe communities in Oyigbo Local Government Area, but no stone will be left unturned till they are arrested and brought to justice.
“The Commissioner of Police, CP Joseph G. Mukan, psc(+) is hereby appealing to the good people of Rivers State to remain calm and religiously obey the curfew imposed by the State Government which may though have its attendant inconveniences but, however, made in good faith and in the overall interest of the citizenry.
“So far, adequate deployments have been made to cover all the flashpoints and ensure that the hoodlums are kept at arm’s length, while appealing to parents and guardians to warn their children to remain law abiding or else the full weight of the law will be brought to bear on them.
“ Rivers State has in recent time enjoyed fragile peace which we are poised to sustaining. For all intents and purposes, the State is bigger than anybody or group; hence we must all strive to entrench lasting peace in the State.
“The #ENDSARS protests and the Consequential Demands are being addressed by both the Federal and State Governments; therefore, any attempt to undermine the security of the State will be resisted.
“ The constitutional duty of the Police to protect lives and property is sacrosanct and must be carried out in a most professional manner…”