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Umahi imposes curfew in Ebonyi, says hoodlums hijack #EndSARS protest

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By Ruth Oginyi

Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi, Wednesday, said imported hoodlums and cultists have taken over the peaceful #EndSARS protest in the state, and therefore, declares 24hour curfew.

Umahi, in a public broadcast, said that government vehicles and infrastructure of government were under severe destruction, and therefore, imposed a 24 hours curfew from 7:00 pm today, the 21st of October, 2020, till further notice.

He further calls on Ebonyi people not to allow hoodlums, who have invaded the peaceful state to cause mayhem and go back to their different states, even as he warned the hoodlums to leave the state with immediate effect. He expressed his sympathy with all those, who lost their lives in the cause of this agitation tagged #EndSARS protest.

He said, “We leaders did not see anything wrong in the demands of our young children. However, it is very unfortunate that these wonderful young children have been infiltrated by hoodlums, who now started to burn properties of innocent citizens.

“I, therefore, appeal to my colleagues to do everything possible to protect the lives of these peaceful protesters as they have been doing. In my state, Ebonyi, 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 they 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 agencies 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 we 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, as 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 calmness, even in the face of sever 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 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.”

Correspondent reports that the hoodlums burnt down some parts of Kpirikpiri police station, Abakaliki, the Ebonyi state capital, and destroyed other social amenities in the metropolis.

The youths, who wore black attire, red clothes on their heads with some of them appearing half naked had patrolled the capital city chanting war songs.

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