Governor of Plateau State, North-Central Nigeria, Simon Lalong, on Thursday declared an indefinite dusk to dawn curfew on the state capital, Jos.
The governor made the announcement through a statement by his spokesperson, Emmanuel Nanle, following reports of disturbances in parts of Jos.
Tension started brewing following rumours of an impending attack on Igbo residents because of the reported assault on Hausa in Port Harcourt, Rivers State by suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) earlier on Thursday.
Igbo traders in Jos closed their shops earlier than usual out of fear of reprisal.
Towards Thursday evening, there was pandemonium on Ahmadu Bello Way and Rwang Pam area as a result of rumours that the reprisal had started.
Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mathias Tyopev, told Vanguard, “The news that Igbo were killing people in the East was becoming too much for the Igbo and they were receiving too many calls so they decided to close their shops and go home.”
“Because people saw them closing earlier than usual, they too started to close their shops.
“The urgency which people were locking up shops caused apprehension and people that were coming out at once, looking for Keke at the same time and could not even get means of transportation started running towards their houses.
“The whole situation is under control because our people are on patrol; people should just desist from spreading false rumours and go about their businesses.”
Not willing to take chances, Governor Lalong announced a curfew to prevent further tension.
The statement from the government reads: “The Executive Governor of Plateau State has expressed great dismay and shock at the sudden build-up of tension in Jos Metropolis on account of the conduct of some disgruntled elements, who have decided to throw the metropolis into confusion on account of their negative reaction to the agitations of Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) in the South East.
“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. The deployment of security personnel to all flash points within the metropolis has also been directed to ensure compliance with the curfew order and to avert any further breach of law and order.
“The Governor wishes to assure all citizens that the security and welfare as the primary concern of Government is assured by the Rescue Administration. He is, therefore, enjoining all citizens to go about their business with the assurance that their safety is guaranteed. He further appealed to all religious and community leaders, neighbourhood vigilantes as well as all law abiding citizens to ensure nobody is allowed to take advantage of this unfortunate situation to engage in criminality.
“The Governor wishes to restate that Plateau State remains home to all citizens of Nigeria irrespective of religion, ethnic extraction or political persuasion. He, therefore, enjoins all peace loving citizens to ensure that nothing is allowed to upset the hard earned peace in the State.”