By Godwin Anene
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has finally lifted the two months curfew imposed in the state.
The governor said the lifting of the curfew earlier imposed following repeated attacks on security operatives and formations in the state by unknown gunmen will take effect from Wednesday July 7, 2021.
Recall that on May 16, 2021, the curfew timeframe was readjusted to 8.30pm to 6.00am for Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas only, all of which has now been lifted across the 23 LGAs of the state.
But Wike in a state-wide broadcast on Tuesday announced the suspension of the curfew to allow socio-economic activities return to the state.
He stated that the state government acknowledges the negative impact of the curfew on business and the social-economic well-being of the state and its residents.
The governor’s Special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri relayed the broadcast in a statement titled, ‘Governor Wike lifts night curfew on Rivers State,’ released to newsmen in Port Harcourt.
Wike said the relaxation of the curfew is sequel to the measurable improvements in the security situation in the state as well as in other neighbouring states.
He explained that in imposing the curfew, the government’s primary concern and interest was and still remains the security of the state, and no sacrifice or price can be said to be too much for the preservation of lives and property.
“We have decided to lift the existing curfew on the entire state from tomorrow 7th July 2021,” the statement said.
While thanking the residents for their understanding and cooperation during the duration of the curfew, Wike urged them to remain security conscious and report any suspicious situation to the security agencies for action.
“On our part, we will not fail to deploy every resource at our disposal to ensure the safety of lives and property while advancing the well-being of all residents.
“This is the very reason we are clearing the state of shanties that have become veritable sanctuaries for criminals and criminal activities across the state. Clearly, our actions in this direction are not directed or targeted at any particular person, identity or group,” he added.
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He explained that the state government had in response to the security breaches and premeditated attacks and killing of security officers in some of the neighbouring states by gunmen, imposed a night-time curfew on the state’s land borders with other states on April 28, 2021.
“Following the premeditated attack and killing of some security personnel in Abua and Ikwerre Local Government Areas by gunmen, we were forced to impose a statewide curfew from 10.00pm to 6.00am.
“On the 11th of May 2021, the gunmen defied the existing curfew and carried out yet another murderous attack and killing of some security personnel in the state. This prompted the review of the statewide curfew from 7.00pm to 6.00am,” the statement explained.
The governor commended residents of the state for their support, prayer and solidarity even as the government continues to work tirelessly to keep Rivers State safe and secure for all.