In order to ensure peace in Abia state, a dusk to dawn curfew has been put in place.
In a statement, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu said Aba residents are advised to observe a curfew from 6pm to 6am from today September 12, 2017 to September 14, 2017.
“Persons residing within the State are strongly advised to remain law abiding, while going about their lawful business without fear of molestation, and, not engage in any form of confrontation with military personnel or other security agents.
“The Government recognizes the constitutional Right to Freedom of Movement for all Nigerians, but objects to the influx of people into Abia State for purposes of unsettling the enduring peace in the State”, a press statement released by the state read.
Yesterday, September 12, there were reports that a task force of the Nigerian Army allegedly surrounded the home of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
The Punch newspaper reported that the soldiers arrived in Umuahia, the Abia state capital with about 10 Armoured Carrier Vehicles and seven Hilux vans.
This event occurred two days after soldiers clashed with members of IPOB while trying to gain access to the Kanu's house on Sunday, September 10.
The deployment of troops in the area is part of the military exercise in the South-East, code-named ‘Operation Python Dance II’. However, the Nigerian army has since denied speculations that the military was targeting the leader of the IPOB group.
While briefing newsmen, Col. Sagir Musa, the Deputy Director, Public Relations, 82 Division, said the essence of the exercise is to ensure peace, security, unity and development of Nigeria.
“The exercise is not targeted at any individual or group but meant to prevent security challenges identified in the South-East and parts of Cross River", Musa said.
“It is not meant to molest or victimise anybody”.
He shared that the exercise was designed to maintain peace and security in the five states of the South-East and parts of Cross River.
The army said that the main objective of the operation was to stem the tide of kidnapping, armed robbery, cultism and violent agitations in the areas involved.
Meanwhile, the state government said in a press statement they were aware of the activities of the army and Operation Python Dance II within the South–East geopolitical region of Nigeria.
“The Abia State Government unequivocally states that Abia is a component State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and subscribes to the supremacy of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and all other extant laws.
“While the Government of Abia State recognizes the right of the Nigerian Army and other security agencies, to perform their statutory duty of protection of lives and property of Nigerian citizens, such duties must be carried out within acclaimed Nigerian and international standards of engagement with the civil populace, with due respect to the human rights of citizens and sanctity of human lives.
“Abia State Government is committed to the protection of the lives and properties of its citizens and others residing and doing business within the geographical entity called Abia State".
The army has promised to investigate the incident that occurred yesterday.