Men of the Nigeria Police Force have resorted to violence to enforce a dusk-to-dawn curfew declared by Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, in all the local councils in the Orlu area of the state.
Videos seen by SaharaReporters on Wednesday showed police officers beating individuals riding motorbikes or walking on the streets of Orlu with sticks.
Some were also seen doing frog jump while the police hit them with guns.
Governor Hope Uzodinma had on Monday declared a curfew in Orlu zone following a clash between Nigerian soldiers and the Indigenous People of Biafra’s (IPOB) security outfit, Eastern Security Network (ESN) in Okporo.
Five persons, including a middle-aged woman, were said to have been killed by stray bullets during the crisis that lasted for several hours.
IPOB has accused Uzodinma of working with the Army to ‘flush out and attack ESN officers from the bushes where they are operating’.
The group said the soldiers ran away on sighting ESN operatives after killing five innocent residents of the community.
“I am totally appalled by this sad report which appears to paint a picture of a near breakdown of law and order in the Orlu area. The government condemns in its entirety this act of extreme hooliganism and brigandage. This is completely unacceptable to this administration. Those behind this callous barbarism will surely regret their actions,” Uzodimma had said in a statement.
“Consequently, I have directed the security agencies to fish out without fail, all those behind the carnage and immediately bring them to book. Let no one be in any doubt that the perpetrators of this dastardly act will ever escape justice. I assure them that they will pay for their cruelty against a peace-loving, innocent people.
“As an interim measure to immediately restore the peace in Orlu zone, a dusk-to-dawn curfew (6 pm to 6 am) is hereby imposed in the following local government areas of Orlu zone, namely Orlu, Orsu, Oru East, Oru West, Ideato North, Ideao South, Njaba, Isu, Nwangele and Nkwerre.
“All law-abiding citizens are advised to comply strictly with the curfew as announced. Anyone caught violating the curfew will be treated as a suspect. The government wants to assure all Imo people that the situation in the Orlu area is under control. Security operatives have been deployed on a 24-hour patrol of the zone. Equally, every security measure necessary has been put in place to ensure that law-abiding citizens can go about their businesses in the affected areas without any fear of molestation.
“The government sincerely condoles with the families of the bereaved and all the victims of the unfortunate incident. I assure them that those who committed the heinous crime against them and their loved ones will never go unfurnished.”
IPOB leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, had in December 2020 launched ESN to protect the people of South-East and South-South regions from terrorists and bandits allegedly trooping in from the North.
Kanu described the outfit as a replica of the Western Nigeria Security Network, also known as Amotekun, earlier launched by the governors of the South-West to curb insecurity in the region.