Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike Tuesday imposed a ban on people traveling interstate at night due to heightened insecurity.
The ban on people entering or leaving Rivers between 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. will take effect from April 28 until further notice, Governor Wike said in a statement.
Wike cited the killings of police, customs and civil defence officers on Saturday and of army soldiers on Sunday to justify the curfew.
“The Government of Rivers State has decided to restrict night movements into and out of the State from the land borders of the State.
“Consequently, a night curfew is hereby imposed and no person or vehicle is allowed into and out of Rivers State from 8.00 p.m. to 6.00 a.m. from tomorrow (Wednesday) 28 April 2021 until further notice.
“We wish to advise that those who have any legitimate need or reason to come into or go out of the State must do so before 8.00 p.m. when the curfew shall come into force daily.
“The attackers and their sponsors are people who came from outside Rivers state, and as a government we are determined to do everything within our powers to prevent the recurrence of such senseless and murderous acts,” he said.
The governor stated that security agencies have been posted to monitor and enforce strict compliance with the curfew at all borders and or entry and exit points with Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, and Imo States.
He explained that on Saturday some innocent officers of the Customs, Police, and Civil Defence services on their duty posts along the Port Harcourt – Owerri Expressway were ambushed and gruesomely murdered in cold blood by armed attackers. He said:
“And similarly, on Sunday, the State witnessed another deadly attack and killing of officers and men of the Nigerian Army right in their duty post at Abua town in Abua Odual Local Government Area of the State.”
Rivers lies in Nigeria’s oil-producing heartland, the Niger Delta, where past unrest has crippled crude production as militants destroyed and raided facilities, sending Africa’s largest economy into a tailspin.
Insecurity has mounted across Nigeria. In the northwest, gunmen have kidnapped more than 700 school children since December, part of a broader breakdown of law and order that has seen militants looting and pillaging communities in the region.
In the northeast, the armed forces are still struggling in a 12-year war with Boko Haram and Islamic State’s West Africa branch. On Sunday, more than 30 soldiers died in one militant attack, soldiers and a resident said.
Earlier on Wednesday, the United States consulate in Lagos warned of increased crime in the city.