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Wike declares IPOB leader in Rivers wanted

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A man said to be a leader of the pro-Biafra group, IPOB, in Rivers State has been declared wanted by the governor, Nyesom Wike.

Mr Wike, in a state-wide broadcast on Friday, identified the wanted man as Stanley Mgbere, whom he accused of “leading members of the banned IPOB to cause the recent violence and destruction of lives and property in Oyigbo Local Government Area (of the state),” a statement from the Rivers Government House said.

There have been reports of shootings in Oyigbo on Thursday night and Friday morning, despite a curfew imposed on the area by the state government.

The Government House statement, signed by Mr Wike’s media aide, Kelvin Ebiri, said the governor also declared a N50 million reward for anyone with information that could lead to the arrest and prosecution of Mr Mgbere.

Mr Wike, in the broadcast, restated the state government’s ban on IPOB’s activities in Rivers, “in line with the proscription order of the federal government”.

The statement quoted Mr Wike as saying that IPOB’s activities were dangerous to lives and property in Rivers, and also constituted “clear and present threat to the existential interest and aspirations of Rivers State and all her people”.

“Security agencies are hereby directed to stop any form of procession or agitation by IPOB in Rivers State or any part thereof and arrest and prosecute any person or group that identifies with the membership or activities of IPOB in the State.

“Government will issue an executive order to strengthen and ensure the effective enforcement of these measures,” Mr Wike said.

He said the Rivers government in the past has “pleaded” with the group to discontinue its activities in Rivers State.

“Today, IPOB continued with its devilish and destructive activities at Rumukwurushi, Iriebe and Oyigbo in open defiance of the State Government’s curfew on human movements.

“Security intelligence and surveillance have revealed that IPOB has continued to expand its membership drive, holding meetings regularly, and expanding its logistical base, including the maintenance of illegal detention cells in Emenike and other parts of Diobu, Port Harcourt.

“As a matter of fact, Oyigbo town has practically become the group’s main operational base in Rivers State, from which they’ve become notorious for launching premeditated violence and terror on the State, businesses and innocent citizens.

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“As a people, we have become very much unsettled by the terrorist acts and endured the continuing irritations, violence, destruction and provocations of IPOB in and against the people of Rivers State,” the governor said.



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