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Cultism: Rivers govt imposes curfew in Obio/Akpo council area

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By Amaechi Okonkwo, Port Harcourt

Due to the upsurge of cult activities and related violence around the Okoro-Nu-Odu flyover in Rumuokoro, Obio/Akpor local government, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike l has imposed a 24 hour total curfew for two weeks on the entire area.

The governor has also declared that government would spare no efforts to deal appropriately with anyone who decides to disturb peace and security in the state with cult activities and associated violence and killings.

He explained in a state wide broadcast that decision to impose the curfew was taken after the State Security Council meeting on Sunday in Port Harcourt, adding that the State Government was seriously disturbed by the recent upsurge of cult activities and related violence and killings around the adjoining areas of the Okoro-Nu-Odu flyover, one of the 6 flyovers under construction in the state.

The governor stated that government has repeatedly warned misguided youths that engaging in cultism because of its abhorrent anti-social effect on society.

“As part of measures to tackle this menace therefore, government has imposed a 24-hour total curfew for two weeks on the entire area along and around the Okoro-Nu- Odu flyover up to one-kilometer radius from Saint Emmanuel Anglican Church, Rumuokoro, extending to the Rumuodomaya Slaughter and Local Government daily market with effect from Monday 23rd November 2020.

“Consequently, no form of trading, human or vehicular movement is allowed within the afore-mentioned restricted areas until further notice. Only staff and vehicles belonging to Julius Berger Nigeria Limited are exempted from the curfew and associated restrictions on movement so that construction work on the Okoro-Nu-Odu flyover is not stalled.”

Wike directed security agencies to enforce strict compliance with the curfew and arrest and summarily prosecute any person, trader or vehicle that may attempt to violate the curfew.

“Again, we wish to warn that community leaders that allow cultism and related activities to thrive unabated in their communities would be treated as collaborators to the resulting crimes and dealt with accordingly.

“We urge all citizens to be part of the efforts to curb cultism in the state by reporting any suspicious cult activity, including gatherings and initiations in or around their neighbourhoods to the security agencies for immediate action”, the governor urged.

He disclosed that the state government would construct the 7th flyover in Port Harcourt to traverse Ikokwu to Azikiwe Street and appealed to residents of Port Harcourt and Obio-Akpor Local Government Areas to bear with the government for traffic challenges that they may encounter in connection with the ongoing construction of the Oro-Abali and other flyovers.

The governor said: “As you know our promise to construct five flyovers to ease the perennial traffic challenges and accelerate socio-economic development of the state is well on course. we delivered and commissioned the first of the initial five flyovers, (the Rebisi flyover) to the glory of God and the good of our state, while construction work on the rest has reached advanced levels of completion.

“Indeed, the Okoro-Nu-Odo flyover is next on the line to be delivered and commissioned, latest, in the first quarter of 2021.

Two days ago, the State Executive Council approved the award of the contract for the constructing of the sixth flyover along the Oro-Abali (Kaduna street) intersection of Aba road to Julius Berger Nigeria Limited.”

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