By Dipo Olowookere
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has confirmed that men of the Nigerian Army have agreed to withdraw from the streets of Aba and Umuahia in the state on Friday following the tension created by their presence.
At a press conference on Thursday, September 14, 2017, Mr Ikpeazu noted that he will have a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on the Operation Python Dance II exercise of the Nigerian Army in the South East region.
The military started the operation recently following threats being posed by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and their leader, Mr Nnamdi Kanu.
Since the Nigerian Army commenced the Operation Python Dance II exercise, there has been tension in the region, resulting in clashes between the secessionist group and soldiers.
Speaking at the conference yesterday, the Governor said, “I want to inform you that by tomorrow morning (Friday), there will be a withdrawal of soldiers from the streets of Aba and Umuaihia, apart from the pre-existing military checkpoints at various locations in the state.
“With the expected exit of soldiers from the streets, we must warn that we will not tolerate agitators and protesters taking over the streets for any reasons.”
He further said, “I will also be meeting the President and Commander-in-Chief of the armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari to discuss possible ways of relaxing the Operation Python dance 11 in the state for now.”
However, he warned members of IPOB to “henceforth desist from spreading false rumours capable of throwing our state into disorder,” warning that, “Not even one of them will escape the full weight of the law.”
Concluding, he said, “I swore to protect lives and properties of all Abians and residents and that I must do. I, therefore, call on all to support our efforts at making sure that lasting peace prevails in our dear state.”
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