Security operatives, mostly soldiers, have taken over the guard of government buildings and diverted movements from such areas in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
The move is to forestall a voice message that went viral indicating that government buildings would be torched by hoodlums across the state.
PREMIUM TIMES observed on Sunday that the major area housing government’s Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the state capital, popularly called Palm House, along Sapele Road, have been taken over by soldiers.
It was also observed that one of the lanes was completely closed to traffic, while the road behind the building that also leads to the office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Department of State Services (DSS), the police state command and the state ministry of agriculture was also completely closed to traffic.
Also, owing to attacks on government warehouses across the state capital on Saturday, the road leading to 4 Brigade headquarters of the Nigerian Army along the Benin Golf Course Road was also closed to traffic as the road leads to a private warehouse allegedly being funded by some interests in the state government.
Meanwhile, Zone 5 of the Nigeria Police Force with headquarters in Benin has warned lawbreakers to stay off the streets of Edo and Delta states.
The Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone 5, Shola David, gave the warning shortly before a security meeting by selected senior officers of the zone, comprising Edo and Delta.
While urging law-abiding citizens to go about their legitimate businesses, Mr David assured residents of the resolve by the police to restore public confidence.
He appealed to the media to do accurate reportage of the incidents to help check cases of fake news which he said was aggravating the crisis.
Mr David said the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, had directed the police to occupy all their areas of operation to provide security.
“The IGP however warns trouble-makers not to test the collective will of the nation by coming out to cause any further breakdown of law and order.
“To this end, I appeal to the law-abiding citizens of Edo and Delta States to go about their lawful businesses that the Police will do all within their statutory powers to ensure the protection of lives and property.
“Therefore, I advise parents and guardians to warn their children and wards to eschew crimes and criminality and avoid the temptation of joining criminal elements in perpetuating violence, killings, looting, and destruction of public and private property,” Mr David said.
Also, the Commissioner of Police in Edo State, Johnson Kokumo, said several arrests have been made and insist that only hoodlums and not #EndSARS protesters have been arrested.
He said the attack on warehouses on Saturday was an indication that the protesters were now hoodlums and arsonists and that any of them caught would be treated as such.
Mr Kokumo said, “Three police stations were razed, some police vehicles were also burnt in so many cases, exhibit vehicles were also burnt. But we thank God there have not been any casualty of death of police personnel.
“We have made several arrests and we are still out to make more arrests, Arrests of hoodlums, not protesters so those who have attacked police formations, those who have set police stations on fire, those who set police patrol vehicles on fire, exhibit vehicles on fire, those who have physically assaulted police officers will not be treated as protesters but hoodlums and we are still on their trail.”
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