The Rivers State Government led by Governor Nyesom Wike has placed a ban on a planned meeting of some Igbo residents in the Oyigbo Local Government Area of the State over fears that such meeting could spark fresh unrest in the area.
The meeting by a group known as the United Igbo community is scheduled to hold at Oyigbo on Saturday, April 10, 2021.
In a statement signed by Paulinus Nsirim, the commissioner for information and communications, the government directed security agencies “to ensure that the said meeting does not hold to forestall a breakdown of law and order in the area.”
Although the government is not specific about any security concern, Oyigbo local government area which shares boundary with Abia state is considered a stronghold of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a proscribed group which the police claims is responsible for the attacks on police officers and its facilities in the area shortly after the #EndSARS protest in October 2020.
The attacks led to a military operation in which soldiers and civilians were killed.
Apart from the fragile nature of Oyigbo following the October 2020 incident, the meeting of the Igbo community is coming up at a time when the nation is grappling with attacks on police formations in Imo, which happens to be another south-east state that shares a boundary with Rivers.
There has also been widespread agitation by members and supporters of IPOB for an Igbo nation; a development that has resulted to loss of lives and properties in the southeastern region of the country.