Two months after, Army still enforces curfew in Oyigbo as businesses suffer

Two months after, Army still enforces curfew in Oyigbo as businesses suffer

Lorine Emenike

More than two months after the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike imposed a curfew on Oyigbo Local Government following riots in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protest, residents still raise their hands to walk past security checkpoints, especially at the Oyibo axis of Port Harcourt/Aba expressway.

About four police officers were killed during the rioting. Wike blamed members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, for the killing and urged security operatives to fish them out, leading to the killing of several civilians by the military and detaining of hundred others.

A partial curfew is still on in the LGA as Oyibo junction remained barricaded by the military.

Some residents who spoke to our correspondent said once its 7:00 pm, the road is closed for anyone to pass through and before it’s 5 pm people around start running to beat the 7 pm timeline.

A business man in the area who craved anonymity said: “You see most of the shops around this area, they make good sales usually towards the evenings, but now, once it’s 6:30 pm-7 pm, they’ve all closed. How are we going to make one naira to feed our children?

“Because of the curfew, we don’t stay out past 7pm. Before 5:30 pm, we start packing our goods so as to beat the 6:30-7 pm timeline or else if they catch you, you will pay money.

“Once it’s 6 pm, you see people running because of the army, the curfew has really affected our business so much”

Another businessman said: “I go like make army dey this side o but with reason, because since wey dem dey nothing like all these thieves, kidnapping, make dem dey so that people go dey do their business”

Meanwhile, repairs are yet to begin on Oyibo police station which was burnt down by hoodlums in October. However, a military tank currently stands where the building used to be.

Police officers have converted lockup shops in front of the police station to offices. Scribbles on the walls of these lockup shops are write-ups like “who says there is no law, police have come back to restore law and a police station Oyibo”