By Rejoice Ojodubiun, Lokoja.
Following plans by two contending Islamic sects to battle over the death of the leader of one faction, who is also a labour leader, Abdulmiumini Yakub, the Kogi State government has imposed 24 hours curfew on the five contiguous Local Government Areas of the Kogi State Central Senatorial District.
Yakub’s group is believed to have broken away from the main sect, headquartered around the AbdulAzeez Attah Memorial College in Okene.
Accusing fingers were pointed at the main group by the break-away group for Yakub’s death, vowing to avenge his death by unleashing terror on its rivals.
It was learnt that acting on intelligence report that Friday was set aside for the attack, the government declared the curfew as a pre-emptive measure.
There are already fears that vehicles that do not pass through the major arterial way that links the south to the north of the country by Thursday night may get stuck for as long as the curfew lasts.
Many are also wondering how residents will survive if the curfew lasts beyond a day.
This is compounded by underground reports that the break-away group has said that its vengeance mission cannot be stopped.
The security challenges that have led to the killing of security men, the labour and Islamic leader, and the burning of a police station in the area, among others, has put the Kogi State government on edge, even as it is suspected miscreants, as well as angry and unpaid state government workers may latch on to the situation to vent their anger and frustration.
The 24-hour curfew affects the whole of the Kogi Central Senatorial District and home to the Ebira speaking people.
Kogi Governor, Mr. Yahaya Bello, is from the same district.
In a statement by the State government through the Governor ‘s spokesperson, Mrs Petra Onyegbule, the government was silent on the reason for the sudden curfew Thursday.
“This is a notice of a 24-hour curfew imposed on residents of the 5 Local Government Areas of Central Senatorial District beginning from midnight (already commenced). This curfew will last for 24 hours and it is absolute. No movement whatsoever shall be allowed.
“All residents of Adavi, Ajaokuta, Okehi, Okene, Ogori/Magongo Local Government Areas are advised to comply by this directive as anyone who runs foul would have themselves to blame.
“Government regrets every inconvenience this might cause and assures citizens and residents this decision has been taken in the best interest of the state.”