*Plateau declares curfew
The Inspector- General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, on Thursday briefed Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on the outbreak of violence in some parts of Abia.
After the briefing, Idris told State House Correspondents that the police was adopting a three-pronged approach to resolve the crisis.
“The strategy we are using is to ensure that we deploy policemen throughout the country.
“Secondly, we are in touch with the government.
“We are trying to mobilise the political leadership to be able to intervene where necessary in how to reduce the tension that is already taking place in the South East.’’
On allegation by Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers that the police is behind criminal activities in the state, the I-G said that Wike was expressing a personal opinion on the security situation in his state.
He, however, said police did not have to deny the governor’s allegation that crimes were perpetrated in the state by its operatives (SARS).
Idris explained that the display of a corpse purported to be that of the police in a crime scene did not indicate that the said policeman was involved in the crime.
“That a Policeman was killed in Rivers in connection with the IPOB issue is different from saying that the policeman was involved in a crime.
“You cannot say that the one attacked and killed is the one involved in the crime,’’ he stated.
He described the governor’s comment as a sweeping allegation which “does not make sense to me’’.
While reacting to the Oct. 1 quit notice given to some Nigerians to leave some parts of the country, the I-G said there was no cause for alarm.
“I don’t think there is tension in the country; there is no tension here,’’ he said.
In a related development, the Plateau State Government on Thursday imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew on Jos Metropolis following “rumoured skirmishes, tension and confusion” over the situation in South-East.
The government, in a statement signed by Mr Emmanuel Nanle, Director of Press Affairs, said that the action was to avert a further breakdown of law and order.
It said that security personnel had been deployed to flash points to ensure compliance with the order, and advised miscreants to avoid a clash with the law.
The statement quoted Gov Simon Lalong as expressing shock and dismay over the sudden build up of tension in Jos, while warning that government would not allow disgruntled elements to disrupt the peace.
“I am surprised that some disgruntled elements claiming to be reacting to agitations by the Independent Peoples of Biafra in the South-East, decided to throw Jos metropolis into confusion. Let everyone be clear about this – we shall not allow it,” Lalong was quoted as saying.
It further quoted the governor as assuring all Plateau residents of protection, while appealing to religious and community leaders to promptly report anyone seeking to take advantage of the situation to engage in criminality.
Lalong also declared that Plateau was home to all Nigerians irrespective of religious or ethnic differences.
Mr Tyopev Terna, Public Relations Officer of the Plateau Police Command, who spoke on the “confusion in the city,” said that it was caused by rumours that some hoodlums were attacking some people over developments in the South-East.
“We have deployed our men to all parts of the city, but nothing has been reported.
“Outside the rumour, there is no particular incident that took place,” he said.
Terna said that the situation got wilder when Igbo shop owners quick locked their shops and started moving home in droves.
“Immediately people saw the frenzy with which the shops were being locked, they started running; they all started scurrying to safety in various directions because they suspected that trouble was looming.
“With everybody running at the same time, confusion enveloped the city, especially the market area. Many people sustained injuries in the stampede,” he said.
He urged Plateau residents to be calm and assured them of protection against any attack by miscreants.
Terna also advised miscreants to leave Plateau as security agents had been deployed to all corners to deal with them.
Tension and confusion enveloped the city beginning from around 5 p.m. following rumours that youths were attacking people over the situation in the South-East.
Areas worst affected by the confusion included Akpata, Teminus, Gada-biyu and Yan-trailer.