Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State in Nigeria’s Niger-Delta has signed an executive order to reinforce the ban on the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a separatist movement based in southeast Nigeria, referring to it as a terrorist organisation.
In a statement signed by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Governor, Mr Kelvin Ebiri assured law-abiding citizens of diverse backgrounds in the state of their safety.
Ebiri stated that the governor, in a broadcast on Wednesday night in Port Harcourt, re-emphasised that Rivers belongs to all tribes and ethnic groups in Nigeria.
He said that the government acknowledges and appreciates the contributions of non-indigenes to the political, social and economic development of the State.
The statement added the Rivers State would never entertain any breach of peace from anyone within or outside the state under any guise.
It stated, “The State government is opposed to the presence and activities of the legally-proscribed and anarchic IPOB and whatever it stands for in Rivers State.
“And so, let it be understood that we have nothing against all or any specific tribe and will continue to live in peace with people of all other tribal extractions residing or doing business in Rivers State.”
“But we have everything against the presence and activities of the legally-proscribed IPOB and whatever that group stands for in Rivers State,” the governor warned.
“This is clearly a terrorist group, whose existence, creed, mission and activities are strongly denounced even by the Government and peoples of the South-eastern states of the country.
“I have, therefore, signed the executive order to reinforce the total ban on IPOB and its activities in Rivers State or any part thereof and nothing will stop us from enforcing this ban in its entirety,’’ he said.
The statement also added that Wike has also “directed security agencies and the Chairmen of Local Government Areas to fish out and resolutely deal with any member of IPOB found in any community following the executive order and other legal instruments’’.
The governor also announced the lifting of existing curfew on Mile 1; Mile 2; Iloabuchi; Emenike; and Ikokwu areas of Port Harcourt as well as Rumukurushi in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area.
He, however, said that the curfew in Oyigbo Local Government Area would remain in force until further notice and the entire Ikokwu motor spare parts market remain closed until further notice.