The police in Abia State have warned residents of the state against raising false alarms about imminent attacks by bandits.
The police spokesperson in the state, Geoffrey Ogbonna, issued the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia on Tuesday.
“People should stop raising false alarms so that if anything happens we will know,” Mr Ogbonna, a superintendent of police, said.
He said the trend, if allowed to continue, would continue to heighten fear and panic in the state.
Mr Ogbonna was reacting to the rumour that went virile in Umuahia Monday night that killer herdsmen had invaded the capital city and its adjoining villages and were ready to attack the people.
The rumour sparked fear among residents, with many making midnight telephone calls and short messages to friends and relatives, urging them to be alert and vigilant.
Community leaders had mobilised the youths who kept vigil, using the local gong to alert residents that danger loomed.
The alarm spread among the Umuahia Ibeku communities, including Ohokobe, Ohobo-Afara, Ugwunchara, Okwuta, Amuzukwu, Okwulagha-Afara, Isiama-Afaraukwu and Ohokobe-Ndume.
Residents of Agbama Housing Estate, Amakanma, Old Umuahia, Olokoro and Umuda Isingwu were also alerted to mobilise to ward off any attack.
The police spokesperson said he was yet to get any formal report on the alleged invasion.
He said: “I also received several calls that communities in Ubakala, Ameke, Iseke, Amuzukwu, Amakanma, Umudike and others had been invaded.
“Even in the area where I live, the community mobilised in the night and kept vigil until this morning.”
Mr Ogbonna said that in spite of the panic and fear generated by the alarm, “no community has come to report any attack”.
“I expect people to go to police stations in their areas to report. Where the station was burnt, like Ubakala, they should feel free to report to the Central Police Station.
“For now, we do not have any report about any attack in any communities,” he said.
Meanwhile, socio-economic activities have returned fully in Umuahia metropolis and its environs, after Monday’s sit-at-home order by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra.
NAN reported that government offices, banks, markets, roadside shops, malls, plazas, petrol stations, and mechanic workshops were opened for business.
Private and commercial vehicles, including commuter-buses and tricycles, have also resumed operation, following the return of normalcy in the town.
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