Obinna Odogwu, Awka
Anambra State governor, Chief Willie Obiano, on Thursday, slammed a 24-hour curfew starting from 8pm today across the state as part of measures to bring under control, the rising tension in the state.
This is even as he also announced that the state has set aside the sum of N200 million which would be disbursed as compensations to people who have proven cases of rights violations, torture and deaths from the activities of the defunct SARS in the state.
Obiano announced this in a state wide broadcast prompted by the rising tension in the state which has led to the burning down of some public facilities and the reported killing of some persons in various parts of the state.
“Consequently, we are taking precautionary steps to prevent further descent to lawlessness in Anambra State by imposing a 24-hour curfew with effect from 8pm today until we bring this rising tension under control.
“Therefore, all schools and markets in Anambra State are hereby closed. All gatherings by groups and associations under any name or label from 8pm are banned. The law enforcement agencies in the state have been duly directed to enforce compliance.
“However, all law enforcement officers charged with ensuring compliance to the restriction on movement must resist the temptation of applying excessive force while attempting to bring the situation under control. We cannot afford to repeat the same mistakes that created the problem we are trying to solve in the first place.
“Meanwhile, I wish to assure all non-indigenes living among us in Anambra State of their safety and security wherever they live in our dear state. The government of Anambra State will not allow you to come to any harm.
“Ndi Anambra, we may do well to recall that in response to the nationwide demand by Nigerian youths for an end to the gross violation of their human rights by the defunct SARS, my administration had taken proactive measures to enthrone justice and peace in our dear state.
“I have personally visited all the facilities used by the defunct SARS and freed all the prisoners in unlawful detention. I have set up a Judicial Panel of Inquiry to listen to petitions from victims of human rights violations by the defunct SARS.
“And more importantly, I am happy to announce that we have set aside the sum of N200m to be disbursed as compensations to people who have proven cases of rights violations, torture and deaths from the activities of the defunct SARS in Anambra State.
“This provision is part of the 2021 Budget which shall be presented to the state House of Assembly in a matter of days.
“Ndi Anambra, this effort is made essentially in pursuit of a better society. We know that no amount of money can equate a human life. But we believe that a symbolic gesture delivered at the right moment can heal old wounds and help aggrieved families to find closure in these most traumatic times.
“Ndi Anambra, the peace and security we have enjoyed in Anambra State in the past seven years is under threat. All hands must be on deck to save Anambra from this danger.
“I urgently call on all religious leaders, traditional rulers, market leaders, community leaders and leaders of the various youth associations across Anambra State to rise to this immediate challenge and speak to our youths and calm the boiling anger in the land.
“Whatever we destroy in a feat of anger was built by us, even if they were donated to federal institutions within our state. We must do everything we can to avoid self-inflicted injuries.
“Ndi Anambra, the times we live in demand extraordinary sacrifices. We must respond to it with patience, forbearance and love. This is not the time for unrestrained emotions. This is not the time for destructive rumours and conspiracy theories.
“This is a time to reach out and touch one another with love, to treat each other with kindness and to say to one another with one voice; Nigeria is greater than her problems!
“Umu nne m, we are the inheritors of a proud history. We carry the inventive genius of the great minds that created the famous Igboukwu civilization. Our ancestors practiced pragmatic democracy before the Greeks stumbled upon its fine theories.
“We rose from the ashes of a brutal Civil War to rebuild our lives with relative ease. Ndi Anambra, our story is different. So, we must act with a sense of history in moments like this. We must not give in to regrettable anger and throw everything away.”