Abia State Government has announced the gradual withdrawal of soldiers from the streets of Umuahia and Aba, apart from the pre-existing Military Checkpoints at various locations in the area, with effect from today.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu who announced this during a broadcast to the people of the State said the deployment of Soldiers to the area had become a great source of concern to both the Government and the Citizenry and warned agitators and protesters against taking over the streets in view of the expected exit of the soldiers.
The Governor said he would be meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, to discuss possible ways of relaxing the “Operation Python Dance Two” in the State.
Governor Ikpeazu explained that the State Government also uncovered plans by hoodlums, allegedly brought into the State by some individuals, to burn down the Ariaria International Market, alleging that their aim was to take advantage of the security situation to cripple the economy of the State and cause widespread suffering.
The Governor called on members and sympathizers of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB to desist from spreading false rumors capable of throwing the State into disorder as anyone caught would be dealt with in accordance with the law.
Meanwhie, the new Commissioner of Police, Abia State, Mr. Michael Ogbizi has urged residents of the State to remain calm and be law abiding in spite of the crisis witnessed in the area.
Mr. Ogbizi stated this shortly after taking over the leadership of the Command in Umuahia.
He warned that the Command would not fold its hands and watch some group of people under any guise to disrupt the peace being enjoyed in the State, noting that the peace and unity of the country remained paramount.
The Commissioner of Police expressed regret over the burning of a Police Station in Aba by some yet to be identified hoodlums stating that efforts are on to track down the perpetrators of the act.
He stated that the Command was prepared to tackle crime and other forms of criminality in the area to a standstill.
CHINEDU ANYASO & LAWRENCE NWOKEDI