Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on Monday denied allegations that he ordered the Nigerian Army to kill Igbo people in the Oyigbo Local Government Area of the state.
Wike, who spoke on a television programme, explained that he imposed curfew in Oyigbo to restore calm after members of proscribed Indigenous Peoples Organisation of Biafra allegedly killed six soldiers and four policemen.
He also said the IPOB members destroyed all police stations and court buildings in Oyigbo, a boundary area adjoining Abia State.
Wike said the allegations that the Igbo were being killed by the military was intended to shift attention from the despicable activities of IPOB in Oyigbo.
He said, “I know that this is not the first time IPOB has used Oyigbo as launching ground. The security agencies are aware. IPOB added a new dimension this time.
“They killed six Army Officers and burnt one. They killed four police officers. They destroyed all the police stations and court buildings. What offence did we commit as a state?
“I imposed curfew to restore calm. I proscribed IPOB activities anywhere in the state. Don’t forget that the Federal Government had declared them a terrorist group. It is not the entire Igbo that believes in IPOB activities.
“So, it’s not true that I ordered the military to kill Igbo in Oyigbo. When did I become a friend to the military? So, what about the Igbo living elsewhere in the state? Are they also being killed?”
“I have no relationship with the Army or the Police; I do not command them. They change Commissioner of Police every time. How would I begin to direct the Army that I do not give instruction?”
According to Wike, IPOB had renamed a local government in the state and hoisted its flag in a public school in Komkom Town.
“I will not fold my arms and watch criminals destroy my state; if those few criminals are Igbo then they should know that I will not allow them.
“They made an attempt to rename a local government in my state. That alone is a signal. I will not agree to that; I know who is doing all these; who has told them to rise, protest against Wike,” he added.
Stressing that the Rivers State government will not shift its position on IPOB, he noted that the South-East Governors never supported IPOB.
He revealed that security agencies, during their search of some residents in Oyigbo, saw shrines with IPOB flags and Nnamdi Kanu’s photographs.
Wike maintained that if IPOB was allowed to operate from Oyigbo, they would soon overrun the state.