By Christian Ogbonna
Ebonyi State Government on Monday directed all security agencies, including “Ebubeagu’’ Security Outfit (the Southeast regional security agency) to kill any miscreant found with a gun or dangerous weapons.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that there was tension and palpable fear in Abakaliki on Monday following alleged enforcement of a “sit-at-home’’ order by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Residents were seen running for safety along the popular old Enugu Expressway and Kpirikpiri axis over an alleged invasion by IPOB members who were rumoured to be shooting sporadically.
Shops, markets and banks also shut their operations.
Government’s order is contained in a statement issued in Abakaliki by the Commissioner for Information and State Orientation, Mr Uchenna Orji.
In the statement, government reiterated its unflinching commitment to the security of lives and properties of inhabitants.
“We direct all security agencies and Ebubeagu Security Outfit to neutralise any miscreant found with a gun and or dangerous weapon in the state.
“This is because government has noted the tension generated in the state on Monday over the purported ‘sit-at-home’ order by non-state actors and the apprehensions that followed the unfounded rumour.
“Members of the public are enjoined to disregard the rumour of the purported enforcement of the ‘sit-at-home’ order in the state.
“It is false and nothing but a figment of the imaginations of enemies of the state fanned by opposition forces to scare law-abiding citizens.
“It is noteworthy to mention that no house was burnt and no killing was recorded in Ebonyi or any part thereof.
“The governor has directed security agencies and Ebubeagu Security outfit to constantly patrol Abakaliki and the various local government areas.
“Members of the public are enjoined to go about their normal businesses without fear. All markets, business centres and public places are to remain open.
“Suspicious movements should be promptly reported to the nearest police post or security checkpoint or call: 07013440807 or 07064515001
“Ebonyi is safe and all the antics of the enemies of the state must be resisted by Ebonyi people,’’ the commissioner stated.
Meanwhile, police in Ebonyi have urged residents to remain calm over the fear and tension generated by the sit-at-home order.
Police spokesman, SP Chris Anyanwu, described the news of IPOB’s enforcement of the sit-at-home order, shootings and killings as rumour.
He stressed that there was no cause for alarm.
“Ebonyi is calm. If anything to the contrary is confirmed, I will come up with update and briefs,’’ he stated.