… Soludo Declares Curfew in 8 LGAs
…Bans Okada, Keke Operations on Mondays
By Ikeugonna Eleke and Jude Atupulazi
Peeved by the spate of killings in Anambra State, Gov Chukwuma Soludo has declared curfew in eight local government areas of the state with a view to rescuing the state from the grip of criminal elements, just as he banned the operations of tricycle (keke) and commercial motor cycle (okada), on Mondays designated as sit-at-home days by a faction of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, reports Ikeugonna Eleke, with additional report from Jude Atupulazi.
Soludo, in a state wide broadcast last Wednesday evening, enjoined the people of the state to join hands with him to achieve his dream of making Anambra a livable and prosperous homeland.
Referring to criminal gangs in the broadcast, Soludo said, ‘The tiny but vicious gangs that have invaded our state and terrorising us are mostly in eight local governments in Anambra and three neighboring local governments in Imo State.
‘They are in our forests, communities, and houses owned by individuals. They don’t come from the air, and hence, are not “unknown” gunmen. They are known. You know them, but are either too scared to speak up or out of indifference. But for how long will you be silent while our people continue to be killed in the most cruel and barbaric manner?
‘The security agencies will continue to do their part, but we, the people, must proclaim that enough is enough and demonstrate full ownership.’
As part of measures to curb the menace of the hoodlums, Soludo unveiled more phone numbers to be used by citizens of the state to report suspected cases of crime as follows:
Soludo also said that in addition to the N10 million cash reward he placed on those who murdered Hon Okechukwu Okoye and his aide, his government would also be offering a cash reward of at least one million to anyone who would provide useful information leading to the arrest of any of the leaders or members of the criminal gangs, including those who supported them financially or in kind.
He said the reward would also cover all those enforcing the ‘illegal sit-at-home order, or anyone involved in the kidnapping, murder, and arson, or access to the camps where the criminals operate from.’
Noting that the the bounty would depend on the profile of the criminal, the governor said their leaders would however attract higher amounts.
His words, ‘Similar bounty will be paid to anyone who gives information about anyone or location where hard drugs (especially “Mkpulu mmili”) are manufactured in the state. The state government hereby assures any informant of confidentiality in this process and would not disclose your identities or contact.’
He also added, with effect from last Thursday, 26th May, 2022, a 6pm to 6am curfew would be placed on motorcycles (okada), tricycles (keke), and shuttle buses in Aguata, Ihiala, Ekwusigo, Nnewi North, Nnewi South, Ogbaru, Orumba North and Orumba South Local Governments until further notice.
‘Until further notice also, motorcycles, keke and shuttle buses are banned from operating in these local governments on Mondays until the sit-at-home completely stops. The youths of every community in the zone are hereby enjoined to assist the security agencies in the implementation of this policy and are mandated to seize any such motorcycle or tricycle on the spot.
‘Local vigilantes should report such motorcycles or tricycles (keke) immediately, and they will be confiscated by government and the owner, prosecuted. The okada, Keke, and shuttle bus union leaders must take responsibility to report their members who are involved in criminal activities.
‘We shall review this after two weeks, and if members of these unions continue to be involved in criminal activities, the government will have no choice but to either disband the Unions and/or ban them out rightly in the state.’
The governor said no part of Anambra State would be used as camps for criminals and warned that anyone with a gun in a camp would be considered a criminal in Anambra State, and that the government and people would work with security agencies to flush them out.
He added that the state government would also revoke and acquire any land found to be harboring criminals, while every community would be required to provide information on any part of their land occupied by the criminals as camps. He further warned that any community which failed to do so, risked its land being taken over by the government.
He said the same applied to any buildings found to be harboring kidnappers and murderers who, he said, had laid siege on the state.
Soludo also added that while hotels were to find a way to get the identity of lodgers seeking their accommodation, fuel stations were to install CCTV cameras, and keep their recordings which would be provided once demanded by security agencies during investigation.
Below are highlights of Soludo’s broadcast.
- Any community and/or individual land used as camps by terrorists will be forfeited to government.
- Use of tricycles, motorcycles and shuttle buses banned on Mondays till further notice.
- A (6pm to 6am) curfew is imposed on keke, Okada and shuttle buses till further notice.
- Operation know your tenants for landlords as any house linked to any tenant caught indulging in crime such as kidnap, arson, gun running, drug dealing, rape, murder, armed robbery, possession of fire arms will be confiscated by government.
- N1M bounty placed on anyone who provides information on those hyping, praising, supporting, offering any support to UGM.
- Compulsory CCTV to be installed in all fuel stations in Anambra State and footages submitted to the security agencies weekly.