*Says IPOB Cannot Give Sit-At-Home Order In Rivers
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has said that his Imo State counterpart, Hope Uzodinma was hasty in pronouncing that the death of APC chieftain, Ahmed Gulak was a political assassination.
In a broadcast on Monday, Governor Uzodinma expressed shock over the killing of the APC stalwart, describing the incident as an unfortunate clear case of political assassination, a sentiment that Governor Wike did not share.
While appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Wike said his Imo counterpart should have exercised patience and allow the security agencies to do the job for which they were established.
“I think that the governor of Imo State, my brother Hope Uzodinma should allow the security agencies to do their proper investigation for it is too early now for him to come out to say it is a political assassination.
“Having done that, it means that you already know those who committed the crime and that will not be fair. When things of this nature happen, allow the security agencies to really go into the matter and then say look, from our investigations, this is what we found out,” Wike stated.
Gunmen on Sunday killed a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Ahmed Gulak around Umueze Obiangwu in Ngor-Okpala Local Government Area close to the Sam Mbakwe Airport road in Owerri, Imo State.
Gulak who was a former aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan was heading to the airport when the assailants attacked him and shot him on the spot.
While commiserating with the Gulak family, Governor Wike noted that there is no loss of life that is acceptable, regardless of the form it takes. He, however, warned against the politicizing of Gulak’s death, stressing that all extrajudicial killings of citizens in the country must be treated as unacceptable.
IPOB had through its spokesperson, Emma Powerful said human and vehicular movements would be restricted across the South-East on Monday to mark the 54th anniversary of Biafra.
In compliance with this, economic and commercial activities came to a standstill in the South-East region of the country
But Wike faulted the directive, saying he is not against the activities of the outlawed group in the eastern part of the country.
“IPOB cannot make an order to say sit at home in Rivers State. I have said so clearly before because it does not exist in Rivers State,” he said.
“Rivers State is not part of South-East. Rivers State is South-South, we are in the Niger Delta. I am not saying whether the people in the South-East should not obey what IPOB has said or not. But they cannot give order to Rivers people to sit at home.”
Streets in Owerri, Imo State capital were empty. Businesses, schools, and other major economic hubs were shut. Vehicular movements were also grounded.
However, there is a heavy presence of security operatives in strategic places in the city to forestall any breakdown of law and order.
In Abia State, streets were deserted and shops are under lock and key while in Anambra State, the situation is the same. Economic and social activities have been halted and there is a heavy security presence in major locations of the state to maintain law and order.
The situation is not too different in Ebonyi State as few vehicles were seen on the highway. The inner streets were deserted with security men positioned at different locations.
The state governor David Umahi had earlier instructed that no resident will be penalised if he or she chooses to stay at home.
Many businesses in Delta State capital, Asaba were also shut as residents comply with the sit-at-home order. Banks and major shopping malls were closed.
At the popular wood market along the Asaba-Onitsha expressway, most shops were closed with a few traders around.