By Chinwe Onwosi
Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi has imposed a 24-hour curfew in the state from 7.pm on Wednesday to forestall further breakdown of law and order by protesters.
Umahi made the declaration in a state-wide broadcast after disturbances from protesters led to the destruction of some public facilities in Abakaliki, causing pandemonium among the citizens.
The governor also called on security agencies to barricade all the state’s boundaries within the stated period and generally protect lives and property.
“These hoodlums and cultists are not Ebonyi people, but came from outside because they do not wish us well.
“Security agencies in the state have sustained injuries from the attacks of these hoodlums and have exercised great patience and wisdom in handling the issue at stake,” he said.
He explained that he addressed the #End SARS protesters on Oct.19 and went ahead to meet their demands in line with the Federal Government’s directive.
“I have, therefore, noticed with sadness, how peaceful protests in Ebonyi have been hijacked by hoodlums who came from outside into our very peaceful state.
“We, leaders, did not see anything wrong in the demands of our young children, but it is unfortunate that they have been infiltrated by hoodlums who burn the property of innocent citizens.
“Government vehicles and infrastructure have come under severe destruction and this is regrettable,” he said.
Umahi appealed to the people not to allow outsiders to destroy the modest improvements of the state which might not go down well with some outsiders who do not wish it well.
“I will continue to say that the peaceful protesters have their legitimate demands and I offer my apologies for many areas we leaders have failed our young children.
“We believed that the success of the END SARS protest will make leaders make amends where necessary,” he said