Governor Nyesom Wike

By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has signed an executive order outlawing already outlawed Indigenous Peoples Organization of Biafra (IPOB) and its activities in the State.

The Federal Government had in 2017 issued proscription order on IPOB after South East Governors banned activities of the pro-Biafra movement in South Eastern state the same year.

The Federal Government outlawed the organisation as a terrorist group.

IPOB had challenged the proscription at a Federal High Court, Abuja but lost the case.

The Governor maintained that while Rivers State remains the home to all tribes and ethnic nationalities, 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 and anarchic Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and whatever that group stands for in Rivers State.

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“This is clearly terrorist group which existence, creed, mission and activities are strongly denounced even by the Government and peoples of 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.

Wike said he 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 in terms with the executive order and other legal instruments.

With restoration of normalcy in the Diobu area of Port Harcourt, the Governor 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 of the State.

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“However, the curfew in Oyigbo Local Government Area shall remain in force until further notice while the entire Ikokwu motor spare market shall remain closed, also, until further notice” he said.

Meanwhile, the Governor has directed the Rivers State Civil Service Commission to take immediate steps to employ 5,000 youths into teaching and other career positions in the State’s Civil Service as an immediate measure to reducing the level of youth unemployment.

In the quest to restore sanity and enhance free traffic flow in roads in the State, Wike said he will soon set up a task force to enforce the ban on illegal street trading and motor parks along public roads.

But, in the interim, he has approved the ban on the operations of tricycles (popularly known as “Keke NAPEP”) on all major roads in Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas.

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The major roads are: Aggrey road, Dame Patience Jonathan road, Eastern Bypass road, Ikwerre road, Aba road, Agip road, Ada George road, Olu Obasanjo road, Rumuokwuta – Rumuola road, Rumuepirikom – Rumuolumeni (leading to Ignatius Ajuru University of Education) road, Rumuokwuta – Choba road, Chief G.U. Eke road, Peter Odili road, Ken Saro-Wiwa road, Nkpogu road, Trans-Amadi road, Elekahia – Rumuomasi road, Yakubu Gowon road, and Woji – Elelenwo road.