By Ewa Innocent,Abakaliki
A 24-hour curfew has been imposed in Ebonyi state, starting from 7:pm October 21, 2020, until further notice.
Governor David Umahi announced this in a statewide broadcast to the people of the state, following the activities of hoodlums whom he said, have hijacked the #EndSARS protests,thereby launching attacks and vandalism on public facilities in the state.
Umahi, who alleged that foreigners and cultists were imported into the state to cause the mayhem, even after government had started action on the demands of the EndSARS protesters after addressing them on Monday, this week, warned that government will not fold its arms and watch the state put on fire by the hoodlums.
He directed the security agents to enforce the blockage of all the state land borders, and ensure total protection of lives and property.
As at the time of this report, about two police stations in the state have been set on fire. They include the Eke-Aba police station and Kpirikpiri police station.
Part of the broadcast reads,”I have noticed with sadness, how peaceful protest in Ebonyi State has been hijacked by hoodlums and cultists who were shifted from outside the state into our very peaceful state.
“On Monday, I had addressed the peaceful protesters and went ahead and met all their demands in line with the directives of the federal government. These hoodlums and cultists have burnt many police stations, moving to prison to set prisoners free and there are attacking security agencies including shooting at them.
These hoodlums and cultists are not Ebonyians but they came from outside because they do not wish us well.
“Security agents in our state have sustained injuries from the attacks of these hoodlums and the provocation. These Security agencies have exercised great patients and wisdom in handling the issue at stake and I urge them to continue doing just that.
“Government vehicles and infrastructure of government have come under severe destruction and this is regrettable.
“I will continue to say that the peaceful protesters have their legitimate demands and I offer my apologies for many areas that we the leaders have failed our young children. We believe that the success of the peaceful #EndSARS protest will make we leaders make amends where necessary.
“I appeal to our people not to allow outsiders to destroy the modest improvements of our state which may not have gone down well to some people outside our state who do not wish us well and who imported these hoodlums to our state.
“I therefore, call on security agencies to block all our borders from 7:00 pm today, the 21st October, 2020 and to protect all lives and property.
“Furthermore, I, the Governor of the state, by the powers conferred on me by the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria, I hereby impose a 24-hours curfew from 7:00 pm today, the 21st of October, 2020.
“I appeal to all these hoodlums and cultists to please use the time available today to leave the state very peacefully and I appeal to all the security agencies to continue to maintain calm even in the face of severe provocation and attack.
“Whether these people came from outside is a reality but they remain our children and so, I appeal to them, again and again to please, leave the state as all the demands of #EndSARS peaceful protesters in the state, I have met them.
“I also intend to work with them on the affairs of the state so that the interest of the young children are being incorporated and I believe that in going forward, every state must dialogue with the young children and also take them into confidence in the affairs of their states because the future belongs to them and therefore, we cannot afford to mortgage their future”, he added.