Edo State Government has dispatched a team to evacuate its indigenes trapped in the mayhem in Jos, Plateau State in which scores of people have been killed in a brawl sparked off by ethnic-cum religious differences.
Led by the Director General of the State Liason Office, Abuja, Mr Tony Aiyejina, the group is to ensure the safe passage of its citizens and resettle them away from harm’s way.
Also, Abia state government directed the immediate evacuation of all Abia indigenes, especially students of Abia State origin holed up in troubled Plateau State.
Chief Theodore .A.Orji , through his Chief Press Secretary to Abia State Governor, Mr. Kingsley Emereuwa, said the government sent two luxury buses with armed Policemen to be stationed at Abuja Hostel, University of Jos to commence evacuation of Abians from the crisis area from today, Saturday January 23, 2010. They are to call President Abia State student in plateau state, Sam Ogazi with GSM No. 08035481667.
Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole says it is the responsibility of Government to protect the life and properties of its citizens just as he expressed confidence in the ability of the police to ensure a peaceful election in Etsako Central Local Government Area of the state on Saturday.
The Governor who also announced a restriction on movement of persons in the area from 7:00am to 6:00pm in Etsako Central during the period of the election spoke during a visit to him by the Assistant Inspector-General of Police Felix Ogbaudu and the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the State, Ahmed Raji.
According to the Governor, “as you would have noticed, there a lot of anxiety, worries. People are concerned for different reasons. People are concerned about stories, allegations and counter-allegations about the deployment of firearms that might be deployed in a way that would endanger lives and properties.”
He however assured the electorate not to entertain fears as the security agencies are in the position to guarantee law and order.
He noted that with the presence of the police in the area, “we feel we are more secured irrespective of the stories and allegations. I have confidence that officers of the Nigeria Police, like the rest of us, recognize that Nigeria is greater than any individual and must put the country first.”
He warned that the Police have the mandate to deal decisively with anyone with plans to disrupt the election. He also urged the Resident Electoral Commissioner to ensure that the rules of the game are adhered with.
He said: “the beauty of democracy is that if you don’t have to give reasons why you are voting for one person or the other. I am sure the people can’t wait to vote.”
On the restriction of movement, the Governor said: “there will be a restriction on movement from 7:00am to 6:00pm in Etsako Central. I’m sure this will help the Police to ensure that those wandering about, those not particularly involved in the election are put away by the Police.”