Information from Ihiala local government area of Anambra State this evening indicated that some motorists and other road users were afraid to ply through the Onitsha-Owerri road following the heavy present of young looking men with guns who positioned close to their white Hilux vehicles along the federal road close to the Divisional/Area Command Headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force.
Motorists who sent in distress call said the young men were fully on black and black with military boots and stood along the roadside close to their parked White Hilux vehicles between the hours of 5:30 p.m this evening till about 7 o’clock when they eventually left the area.
“Our vehicle ran into them. One of them used his hand to tell our driver to slow down and pass. Some other vehicles behind us started making U-turn and running back towards Ihiala main town”, a passenger who does not want his name on print said.
It was gathered that while the motorists made U-turn, fear gripped residents most especially traders at the Nkwogbe market in the Ihiala main town and thus, they hurriedly closed shops and ran home.
A reliable source close to the Police said the young men were not Unknown Gunmen but men of the Department of State Services, DSS who were on patrol.
The source said if the motorists had watched well, the black shirts the Operatives were putting on, have DSS logo boldly written on it. “They may have mistaken the DSS Operatives as Unknown Gunmen because the Unknown Gunmen also some times wear black and black clothes”, the source added
Meanwhile, Anambra State Government has reiterated that the curfew declared in the Ihiala local government area and seven others are strictly for Okada riders, Keke and Shuttle Bus drivers and the curfew does not affect human movement.
The Government in a press release signed by Christian Aburime, the Chief Press Secretary to the state Governor, Charles Chukwuma Soludo and made available on Wednesday said thus:
The Government of Anambra State for the umpteenth time wishes to clarify that the curfew declared by Governor Chukwuma Charles Soludo, CFR, in the state does not affect human movement but mainly three classes of vehicles in eight local government areas.
The local government areas include; Aguata, Ihiala, Ekwusigo, Nnewi North, Nnewi South, Ogbaru, Orumba North.
The curfew prohibits motorcycles (okada), tricycles (keke), and shuttle buses from operating in the local government areas from 6pm to 6am till further notice.
However, until the Monday Sit-at-home completely stops, motorcycles, keke and shuttle buses are banned from operating in these 8 local government areas of Aguata, Ihiala, Ekwusigo, Nnewi North, Nnewi South, Ogbaru, Orumba North and Orumba South.
Youths of every community in the affected council areas are enjoined to assist the security agencies to implement the government policy and are mandated to seize any such motorcycle or tricycle on the spot.
Local Vigilantes have also been authorised to report such motorcycles, tricycles (keke) or shuttle buses immediately, and they will be confiscated by government and the owner prosecuted.
In the same vein, Okada, Keke, and shuttle bus union leaders are to take responsibility to report their members who are involved in any criminal activities.
Anambra State government shall review the policy after two weeks, and if members of these unions continue to be involved in criminal activities, the government will have no choice but to either disband the Unions and/or ban them out rightly in the state.
For the avoidance of doubt, Ndi Anambra or residents who are on lawful engagements are not to be intimidated or molested by security agents but are advised to be conscious of their security and report or forward information about suspicious activities around them or their communities to the following numbers which are managed in the strictest confidentiality at the Governor’s Office:
09017280990, 07039896429, 09167514891, 09076237441, 09168041120, 08093175528, 08124153139.