The Plateau State Government on Friday imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew on Jos Metropolis following “rumoured skirmishes, tension and confusion” over the situation in southeast of Nigeria.
The government, in a statement signed by Emmanuel Nanle, Director of Press Affairs, said that the action was to avert a further breakdown of law and order.
It said that security personnel had been deployed to flash points to ensure compliance with the order, and advised miscreants to avoid a clash with the law.
The statement quoted Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong as expressing shock and dismay over the sudden build up of tension in Jos, while warning that government would not allow disgruntled elements to disrupt the peace.
“I am surprised that some disgruntled elements claiming to be reacting to agitations by the Independent Peoples of Biafra in the southeast, decided to throw Jos metropolis into confusion. Let everyone be clear about this – we shall not allow it,” Lalong was quoted as saying.
“Consequently, the governor has directed an immediate imposition of curfew from dusk to dawn (6pm – 6am) within the Greater Jos-Bukuru Metropolis, until further notice.”
It further quoted the governor as assuring all Plateau residents of protection, while appealing to religious and community leaders to promptly report anyone seeking to take advantage of the situation to engage in criminality.
Lalong also declared that Plateau was home to all Nigerians irrespective of religious or ethnic differences.
Tyopev Terna, Public Relations Officer of the Plateau Police Command, who spoke on the “confusion in the city,” said that it was caused by rumours that some hoodlums were attacking some people over developments in the southeast.
“We have deployed our men to all parts of the city, but nothing has been reported.
“Outside the rumour, there is no particular incident that took place,” he said.
Terna said that the situation got wilder when Igbo shop owners quickly locked their shops and started moving home in droves.
“Immediately people saw the frenzy with which the shops were being locked, they started running; they all started scurrying to safety in various directions because they suspected that trouble was looming.
“With everybody running at the same time, confusion enveloped the city, especially the market area. Many people sustained injuries in the stampede,” he said.
He urged Plateau residents to be calm and assured them of protection against any attack by miscreants.
Terna also advised miscreants to leave Plateau as security agents had been deployed to all corners to deal with them.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that tension and confusion enveloped the city beginning from around 5pm following rumours that youths were attacking people over the situation in the southeast.
Areas worst affected by the confusion included Akpata, Teminus, Gada-biyu and Yan-trailer.