Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has imposed a 48-hour curfew on the state following incidents of arson and destruction of government property in Asaba by hoodlums.

He also announced the closure of public and private primary and secondary schools in the state until November 2, 2020.

In a statewide broadcast in Asaba on Thursday, the governor said the curfew will commence at 6 p.m. on Thursday.

He said that the peaceful protests by the #ENDSARS protesters has been hijacked by suspected criminals, and stated that the state government will not watch the elements have a field day.

The governor commended the #ENDSARS protesters for their peaceful conduct, but appealed to them to give peace a chance by allowing the government to address their demands.

#EndSARS protesters  in Lagos (Punch)
#EndSARS protesters in Lagos (Punch)
via Google Images

He also appealed to parents and guardians to ensure that their children and wards were properly accounted for, and urged traditional rulers and opinion leaders to lend their voices to the appeal.

He urged youth leaders, community mobilisers and social media influencers, to have a rethink on the protest in the interest of the nation.

"My dear people of Delta State, it has become necessary for me to address you following the unfortunate turn of events in our nation.

"In all my communications with you in the last two weeks, I have consistently maintained that the #ENDSARS protest is a laudable one that has drawn national attention and outcry to the brutalities Nigerians, particularly the youths, have endured in the hands of the now disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad.

"I commend our youths for rising to the occasion and organising themselves in such an impressive and spectacular fashion.

"The nation heard your voices loud and clear, and all that now remains is for both the National and sub-national governments to take appropriate remedial measures, which includes embarking on total and comprehensive reform of the Nigerian Police and our governance systems.

Gov Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State addresses healthcare professionals (Delta State press corps)
Gov Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State addresses healthcare professionals (Delta State press corps)

"Unfortunately, unlike what we are seeing in the last two weeks, cases of arson, looting and other violent conducts have crept in.

"It does appear that the #ENDSARS protest has been hijacked by some misguided and opportunistic elements. This sad situation threatens to plunge the state into chaos and anarchy.

"It is a clear and present danger that we must stop from happening; only last night, some government buildings were burnt in Asaba,’’ he said.