Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has declared that alleged killing of Igbo was a ploy to shift attention from activities of outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Oyigbo Council Area of the state.
He described the allegation that he ordered the Nigerian Army to kill Igbo in Oyigbo, as a politically motivated falsehood. Governor Wike made the clarification on a live television programme in Port Harcourt yesterday, maintaining that he imposed curfew on Oyigbo to restore calm after IPOB members killed six soldiers, four policemen and destroyed all police stations and courts in the area.
His words: “I know that this is not the first time IPOB has used Oyigbo as launching ground. Security agencies are aware of this, but IPOB added a new dimension to their activities this time.
“They killed six Army Officers and burnt one, killed four police officers and destroyed all the police stations and court buildings. I imposed curfew to restore calm and I proscribed IPOB activities anywhere in the state.”
In the statement issued by his Special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, the governor condemned IPOB for its effrontery to rename a local government in the state and hoist its flag in a public school in Komkom Town.
Wike stated that the state government did not regret its stance on IPOB, which he said, had been designated as a terrorist organisation by the Federal Government, adding that the South-East Governors have never supported IPOB and wondered why any governor of a Niger Delta should tolerate the group.
He said during a search of some residents in Oyigbo, security agencies uncovered shrines with IPOB flags and Nnamdi Kanu’s picture, maintaining that if IPOB members were allowed to operate in Oyigbo, they would soon overrun the state.
He said the state government had commenced moves to replace all the property destroyed by the group during the protest, lamenting that the damage have left huge financial burden on the state.
The governor disclosed that the state had decided to compensate each family of the security personnel who were killed during the violence with N20m to cater for the welfare of their families.