The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has denied ordering the Nigerian Army to kill Igbos in Oyigbo Local Government Area of the state.
He described the allegation that he gave such order as “politically-motivated falsehood”.
The governor further said that the narrative that Igbos were being killed by the military was intended to shift attention from the despicable activities of IPOB in Oyigbo, which is a boundary area adjoining Abia State.
According to a statement by his Special Assistant (Media), the governor gave the explanation on a live television programme in Port Harcourt on Monday.
He maintained that curfew was imposed in Oyigbo to restore calm after members of proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) “killed 6 soldiers, 4 policemen and destroyed all police stations and court buildings there”.
Wike said, “I know that this is not the first time IPOB has used Oyigbo as launching ground.
“The security agencies are aware. IPOB added a new dimension this time. They killed 6 Army officers and burnt one. They killed four police officers. They destroyed all the police stations and court buildings. What offence did we commit as a state?
“I imposed curfew to restore calm. I proscribed IPOB activities anywhere in the state. Don’t forget that the Federal Government had declared them a terrorist group. It is not the entire Igbos that believe in IPOB activities.
“So, it’s not true that I ordered the military to kill Igbos in Oyigbo. When did I become a friend to the military? So what about the Igbos living elsewhere in the state, are they also being killed?”
He further said: “I have no relationship with the Army or the police; I do not command them. They change Commissioner of Police every time. How will I begin to direct the Army that I do not give instruction?”
The governor alleged that IPOB attempted to rename a local government in the state and hoist its flag in a public school in Komkom Town.
“I will not fold my arms and watch criminals destroy my state; if those few criminals are Igbos then they should know that I will not allow them.
“They made attempt to rename a local government in my state. That alone is a signal. I will not agree to that. I know who is doing all these; who has told them to rise, protest against Wike.”