Sit-at-home: One killed, vehicles razed in Delta

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From Paul Osuyi, Asaba

Suspected members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on Wednesday dared security operatives as they continued their incursions into Delta State to enforce the sit-at-home order.

The secessionist agitators in the early morning attacked at Ugbolu, near Asaba, killed a driver of a Dangote truck, and set two trucks of the Dangote Group and a tricycle ablaze.

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Besides, an Audi Volkswagen car was riddled with bullets as the hoodlums were said to have shot indiscriminately in their attempt to enforce a three-day sit-at-home that started on Monday.

The owner of the razed tricycle who refused to disclose his identity said he left home at about 6 am with his wife for work only to run into the scene.

He said he was surrounded by a number of boys who ordered him to lie down, adding that the next thing he saw was that his tricycle was on fire.

“I was leaving this morning with my wife, so when we got here, I saw that vehicle reversing and coming backwards.

“I wondered what could be happening, and before I realized it some boys with arms surrounded us.

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“They ordered me to lie down, and before I knew it, my Keke was on fire. I didn’t see anybody again, so I ran into the bush,” he said.

Asked about his identity, the victim said his major concern now was how the government could replace his Keke, noting that the Keke was his source of livelihood.

Our correspondent learnt that the hoodlums blocked Mile 5 junction of the Ugbolu-Illah road to enforce the sit-at-home order.

A local source said the Dangote truck which was loaded with cement was coming from Okpella in Edo State and going to Asaba when he ran into the illegal roadblock.

“The driver was asked to come down, and they asked him what he was doing on the road despite their directive that there should be a sit at home.

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“He (driver) told them that he was not aware of the order. They shot him point-blank, killing the driver,” the source said.

Meanwhile, the state Commissioner of Police, Ari Mohammed Ali who confirmed the incident in Asaba, said it was unfortunate that a life was lost and properties damaged.

Ali however vowed to smoke out the perpetrators and assured residents of their safety as they go about their lawful duties.

“I want to assure residents in Delta State that this command under my watch will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that peace and security are guaranteed in this state.

“As it is, everywhere within and outside the metropolis, apart from this morning’s incident, people are going about their lawful duties.

“That tells you that the Command is capable and of course able to protect the lives and properties of citizens of this state.

“We are not going to allow any hoodlum under the guise of IPOB or ESN to come here.

“In the first place, Delta State is not part of South East Nigeria. And as such, their directive of sit-at-home cannot be enforced here.

“I want to warn that whoever wants to test our resolve would certainly see the other part of us here. We will not relent in providing security to the residents of this state,” Ali insisted.

Recall that the suspected IPOB on Monday started the enforcement of the sit-at-home order in parts of Asaba including Okwe, Oduke, Bonsaac, Akwuebulu where pupils and students were forced out of schools with an order that they should not return until after Wednesday (yesterday).

However, there has been an increased presence of security operatives in the streets of the capital city since Sunday when the order purportedly issued by the secessionist elements went viral.

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