Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, said two kingpins of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) involved in the killing of six soldiers and four policemen in Oyigbo, had been arrested by security operatives.
He also maintained that the imposition of curfew in Oyigbo Local Government Area helped to prevent an outbreak of inter-ethnic war between Igbo and Hausa communities in the area.
The Governor stated this when Rotary District 9141 Governor, Mrs Virginia Major, led a delegation of Rotarians on a courtesy visit to the Government House, Port Harcourt on Tuesday.
He revealed that security operatives, in the late hours of Monday, arrested two prominent members of IPOB in Oyigbo.
Governor Wike explained that Rivers State was peaceful during the EndSARS protest, until criminals, under the guise of IPOB attempted to paint the State black by killing ten security agents in Oyigbo.
He noted that while Rivers State had been home to every ethnic and religious groups, some misguided IPOB members, had taken this for granted by unleashing mayhem in Oyigbo and even attempted to cause inter-ethnic war.
“If we did not take the steps we took by imposing curfew in Oyigbo, today, it would have been the Hausa and Igbo that will have been fighting and nobody knows what level it would have taken today,” he said.
The governor said though he had had a frosty relationship with Nigerian Army and the Police, he would, however, never tolerate the killing of any solider or police in the State.
“I will not support criminality. I won’t because the soldiers don’t like me, then you go and kill them. And then, I will come out and clap, thank you for killing the soldiers. Thank you for killing the police,” he said.
He urged those spreading falsehood that Igbo people were being killed and punished in Oyigbo to be dispassionate when acts of criminality were committed.
According to him, if IPOB members did not kill people and destroy property, Government would not have had any justification to declare curfew in the council.
“No government will wake up in the morning to impose hardship on its people. No government will do that, but government has the right to protect life,” he said.
Governor Wike lauded Rotary International for collaborating with government to Kick out polio in Nigeria.
He assured the Rotarians that his administration would sustain the campaign against polio because no governor would be happy to hear about fresh outbreak of polio in any part of the country.
District 9141 Governor, Virginia Major, lauded Governor Wike for the manner he handled the well-intentioned EndSARS protests, which were almost hijacked by miscreants.
She noted that while the world was facing COVID-19 pandemic of unimaginable proportions, Governor Wike and his colleagues and the Federal Government did not relent in their collective efforts to support polio immunisation at all levels.
“This led to the ultimate certification of Nigeria and by extension, Africa as free of the wild polio virus on August 2,2020 by the World Health Organisation, WHO,” she said.
He urged the governor to use his position to support all the renewed efforts of Government, Rotary and all its strategic partners in their quest for sustained surveillance, awareness, immunisation and of course, keeping polio at zero.