Friday , June 21 2024
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Heavy security, panic buying as IPOB holds Biafra Heroes Day

Ahead of today’s Biafra Heroes Day declared by the separatist Indigenous People of Biafra across the South-East, the Commissioner of Police in Anambra State, Nnaghe Itam, on Wednesday, deployed policemen across schools in the state.

Similarly, the Enugu State government rejected the sit-at-home order called by IPOB to mark the day, saying it had put security agencies on red alert to resist any attempt at the breaking of law and order.

IPOB had last week, in a statement by its spokesman, Emma Powerful, advised the West African Examination Council to shift WASSCE papers slated for May 30.

It similarly advised the Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Anambra State to shift its convocation slated for the same date.

The separatist group declared May 30 sit-at-home across the five South-East states, warning that there would be no business activities and no movements to honour Igbo people killed during the civil war of 1967-1970.

Our correspondent, who went around major markets and schools across Anambra State on Wednesday, observed heavy security presence with security vehicles as residents were also seen making last-minute purchases to avoid being stranded.

This was just as some of the students taking part in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination were seen relocating to areas near their examination centres, so as to avoid being stranded as IPOB has declared no movement across the region.

Customers also besieged banks and Automated Teller Machine points to withdraw cash in order to make purchases and get ready for the day.

A resident, who was seen making quick purchases at Eke Awka Market, in Awka, Grace Acho, who spoke to our correspondent, said, “My brother, when I heard that markets would not open tomorrow, I took permission from the office to rush here to buy some foodstuffs and get ready for tomorrow.

“I have also asked my son taking the exam tomorrow to go and stay at my sister’s house which is near his examination centre, so that he could trek to the exam venue to take his exam. We only pray they are allowed to take the exam because they are writing Mathematics tomorrow and it is an important subject.

Security should be beefed up around the examination venues since it is obvious that WAEC would not shift it.”

The police spokesman in Anambra State, SP Tochukwu Ikenga, disclosed the deployment of security operatives around the markets and schools, in a statement on Wednesday.

Ikenga said the security operatives, under the “Operatives of Schools Protection Squad”, were being led by the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of the command’s Operations Department.

Ikenga said the deployment was to fortify the joint security force to address any security concerns, especially “against criminal elements enforcing illegal sit-at-home in the state” and to ensure the safety of students taking WASSCE,

He said, “The Commissioner of Police in Anambra, CP Nnaghe Itam, has complemented the already emplaced joint security force, comprising the Army, Navy, civil defence, and other sister agencies, to address any security concerns, especially against criminal elements enforcing illegal sit-at-home in the state.

“There is the deployment of the operatives of Schools Protection Squad led by the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Operations Department to ensure the safety of students in the state, for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination on May 30th, 2024 nationwide.

“The squad is equipped with relevant assets and advanced training to effectively respond to security challenges facing educational institutions.

“The personnel dispatched have been tasked to intensify robust patrols around schools and vulnerable institutions in all the locations in the state.”

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About Alex Itoro

Music and movie pundit

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