The Abia State governor, Okezie Ikpeazu has imposed a 24-hour curfew in the state capital, Umuahia, and commercial city of Aba.
This followed the attack on police officers in Aba by unknown hoodlums, during which one police officer was killed.
A statement by the commissioner for information, John Kalu, said at least two police officers have been killed in the last few days along with the destruction of police stations.
He said a contingent of police officers on official duty around Azikiwe Road by Asa in Aba was attacked by yet to be identified hoodlums numbering over 30 on Monday night.
Mr Kalu said the attackers carted away the arms and ammunition of the policemen.
According to him, one of the suspected attackers was apprehended with gunshot injuries.
The commissioner said intelligence reports revealed the influx of more hoodlums into the state in the last few days to cause further mayhem.
“After detailed review and assessment of the general security situation, including reports of armed cultists and hoodlums sneaking into the state from different parts of the country in large numbers, the burning down of at least two police stations, reported killing of two policemen in the last two days as well as leaked plans to unleash more violence on innocent citizens, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has directed security agents to ensure the immediate arrest and prosecution of the hoodlums.”
The governor also charged them to pursue a swift and complete recovery of the stolen arms and ammunition with the necessary vigour, and ensure the cultists are comprehensively flushed out.
“To ensure the continued security of lives and property of law-abiding citizens, the governor has also directed the imposition of a 24-hour curfew on Aba and Umuahia from 6 p.m. today till further notice.”
Mr Kalu said the governor has approved a cash reward of N5 million to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest of the hoodlums and armed cultists.
“This is in addition to the approval of a reward of One Million Naira Only (N1,000,000.00) for each authentic video evidence on brutality and extrajudicial killings by security agents in the state submitted to the Judicial Panel of Inquiry being inaugurated to investigate the incidents.”
“Parents and guardians are strongly advised to monitor the activities of their children and wards to ensure that they are not engaged in nefarious activities, predispose themselves to harm or allow themselves to be used to cause mayhem in the state,” the commissioner added.