In what could be likened to a hangover after a night of booze and partying, Abakaliki, capital of Ebonyi State was largely calm and subdued Thursday morning after the violence that erupted in the city on Wednesday.
The declaration of a 24-hour curfew means that businesses, especially those along major roads and streets, remain closed.
Our reporter, who went round the city, noticed that shops and other businesses remained shut as at 9 p.m.
Banks and fuel/gas stations did not open for business. ATMs of some of the banks were said to have been out of cash, while a few that still had cash did not have many persons withdrawing.
The roads were scanty with few vehicular movements as people stayed at home.
Many persons were seen in clusters around various neighbourhoods, discussing the events of yesterday.
The road leading to the Abakaliki Prison from the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital was cordoned off by a combined security team.
Marks were visible on the walls of the prison where the hoodlums tried to break into the prison before they were repelled by security agents.
At the old Government House, eagle-eyed security officers scrutinised and screened people before letting them in.
But inside, most offices were under lock, as the workers also obeyed the curfew.
Police patrol vans patrolled the city to ensure compliance to the order.
Ashes of burn fires lit the previous day could be seen at various parts of the town especially on major roads.
Meanwhile, a band of youth acting under the directive of the state government have taken over the Side so roundabout and some other parts of the city.
This follows a statement from the Special Assistant on Internal Security and Public Utility to the governor, Chika Nwangele for the youths.
“I have been directed to inform all the Youths of Ebonyi State Origin both Akubaraoha Youths Assembly to immediately rush to PA-Ngele Oruta Township Stadium, Abakaliki for an urgent information.
“It is important that we fish out the hoodlums who infiltrated into Ebonyi State to cause trouble, vandalise public property and pose a threat to lives thereby discrediting the #EndSARS & #EndBadGovernanceInNigeria STRUGGLE!”, the statement said.
The decision to deploy the youth drew condemnation, with some residents stating the decision could lead to further breakdown of law and order.
“Despite a validly imposed curfew in Ebonyi State. I hear someone is calling on “all the Youth of Ebonyi State Origin” to “rush” to the Pa Ngele Oruta Township stadium Abakaliki for an undisclosed reason.
“I pray someone is not trying to sabotage the well-intentioned strategy of our dear governor, Chief David Umahi. The governor has strategically brought the violence that crept into the #EndSARS Protest under control. And it should remain so,” said Mr Idika Moses.
Another resident, who requested not to be named said, “It is very dangerous to send untrained, crude and possibly drunk youths to do the work of security men. They are more likely going to cause more problems.”
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