ONYEDI GABRIEL, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has lifted the night curfew he imposed on Rivers to check the killings of security personnel by unknown gunmen.
Wike in a statement signed by his Special Assistant, Media, Kelvin Ebiri, said the relaxation of the curfew would begin on July 7.
The governor said the decision was sequel to the measurable improvements in the security situation of the state and other neighbouring states.
Wike in a state broadcast on Tuesday reiterated that his government acknowledged the negative impact of the curfew on business and social-economic activities.
He explained that in imposing the curfew, the government’s primary concern and interest was and still remained the security of the State insisting that no sacrifice was too much and no sacrifice was too much for the preservation of lives and property.
He said: “And as we have severally stated, the curfew is not going to last a day beyond necessary. Consequently, sequel to the measurable improvements in the security situation in the State as well as in our neighbouring States, we have decided to lift the existing curfew on the entire State from tomorrow 7th July 2021.”
The governor thanked the residents for their understanding and cooperation during the curfew and urged them to remain security conscious and report any suspicious situation to the security agencies for action.
He said: “On our part, we will not fail to deploy every resource at our disposal to ensure the safety of lives and property while advancing the wellbeing of all residents.
“This is the very reason we are clearing the State of shanties that have become veritable sanctuaries for criminals and criminal activities across the State. Clearly, our actions in this direction are not directed or targeted at any particular person, identity or group.”
Wike explained that the state government had in response to the security breaches and premeditated attacks and killing of security officers in some neighbouring atates by gunmen, imposed a night-time curfew on the state land borders on the 28th of April 2021.
He said: “Following the premediated attack and killing of some security personnel in Abua and Ikwerre Local Government Areas by gunmen, we were forced to impose a statewide curfew from 10.00 p.m. to 6.00 a.m.
“On the 11th of May 2021, the gunmen defied the existing curfew and carried out yet another murderous attack and killing of some security personnel in the State. This prompted the review of the state wide curfew from 7.00 pm to 6.00 a.m.”
It could be recalled that on the 16th of May 2021 the existing curfew time frame was readjusted to 8.30 p.m. from 6.00 a.m. for Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas only.