Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
Imo State governor, Hope Uzodimma yesterday imposed a 24 hours curfew in the State which takes effect immediately from 12 pm.
The governor in his address to the citizens of the State said the curfew has become necessary to protect the lives and properties of the citizens of the State from hoodlums who he said has taken advantage of the protest to cause mayhem.
He said “Because I will not want an avoidable incident that can lead to loss of lives to occur in the state, I will do all that is needful to maintain peace and security for all Imo people.
“Consequently, to ensure that the peace in the state is disturbed , a 24 hour curfew is hereby imposed in the state till furthernotice. This means that there will be no movement in the state either in the daytime or at night, except for those on approved essential services. The curfew is with immediate from 12 midnight today October 20th.
“I have watched with utter dismay the attempt by unscrupulous elements to hijack an otherwise peaceful protest by our youths to unleash mayhem in the state.
“I personally addressed the protesting youths in Owerri and assured them that my government will not support any form of police brutality against our people. I also gave them my word that I will lend my support for a refined police force that will treat citizens with dignity and respect.
” But the contrary is the case as the protests have persisted This development is creating the impression that the protests may not have been solely motivated by the desire to end SARS or to secure assurance of police reform.
“Sadly, some unscrupulous and unpatriotic elements in Imo State have concluded arrangements to hide under the end SARS protests to sponsor some youths to embark on new protests in the State. I understand that the sponsors of the protests are using the state of roads in the state to further persuade the youths to embark on the action. This is most unpatriotic and unfortunate.