The police in Imo State has dismissed as untrue, the rumour making the rounds that some herders were camped in Oru, Ahiazu Mbaise LGA waiting strike.
In a statement issued by the state Public Relations Officer, SP Ikeokwu Godson Orlando, the command said the news was fake, adding that the suspected herders were migrants from Niger Republic who are pit toilet diggers.
He said: “The Imo State police command has been notified of the news making the rounds on various social media platforms that some Fulani Herdsmen are camping somewhere in Oru, Ahiazu Mbaise, in preparation to attack some communities within the said location. On the receipt of the information, the DPO led a team of policemen in search of the said people, and they were traced to a petrol station in Oru, Ahaizu Mbaise, where he met about 15 men led by one Haruna Isa, 73 years old.
“Contrary to earlier identities of the men identified as herdsmen, they were discovered to be Hausas from Niger Republic. Upon interrogation, they claimed to have resided in Imo State for the past five years moving from one village to another. They also claimed to be labourers who engage in digging pit toilets across villages, various implements used for the said purpose were found on them, they, however, claimed to have camped in the petrol station with the consent of the owner. The said owner of the station when contacted said he gave them his consent to stay there so that they can stay and also provide security for his facility as well.
“In view of the above, the divisional police officer detailed a patrol team to remain on stand-by at the petrol station to forestall any possible break down of law and order, while he moved into the town to sensitize members of the public of his findings and also to calm them down.
But while sensitizing the members of the communities, the DPO received a distress call from the patrol team that youths numbering about 100 with different offensive weapons invaded the fuel station trying to attack and possibly kill the people but met the resistance from the team detailed to be at the petrol station. The DPO on arrival at the scene, discovered that some of the people had fled the scene in fear, he then moved into the community for search and rescue, of which he rescued about seven Hausas, and then took all of them to the police station for safety, while efforts are on to move them to the Nigeria Immigration Service for further action.
“The command therefore wishes to state that the news that there is war in Ahiazu Mbaise is not only false but baseless, misleading and mischievous as no one was either attacked, injured or killed. It is simply a case of false alarm and the situation has been arrested and normalcy has restored to the said environment.
“The Imo Command, therefore, warned members of the public to desist from raising false alarm or fake news as such is capable of causing chaos, anarchy and breach of peace, while commending the vigilance of the members of the public, warns against taken laws into their hands and then advise them to always report any strange face(s) or movement(s) within their environment to the police or any other security agency for prompt and decisive action.
“Members of the public are also advised to go about their lawful business without fear of molestation as the Command remains strongly in the business of providing safety and security to all and sundry within Imo State.”
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