A violent clash between residents of a community in Abia State and security officials, on Friday, left one person dead.
The incident occurred at Uratta Junction of Enugu-Port Harcourt Highway in Aba, the commercial hub of the South-east state, when a commercial tricycle rider, otherwise known as keke, was arrested by the police for allegedly violating the lockdown order in the state.
The Commissioner for Information in Abia State, John Kalu, said in a statement that the violent clash was caused by the spread of fake information that the keke rider was shot dead by security officers mounting roadblocks in Aba.
“Unidentified persons quickly mobilised a mob under the false guise that the tricycle operator was dead and attacked security agents and innocent people around the area.
“Reports reaching us has it that a security patrol team was attacked by the same mob, and in response, one person was shot dead,” Mr Kalu said.
The keke rider is alive and in police custody, Mr Kalu said.
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The commissioner said Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has directed the police in the state to investigate the circumstances leading to the loss of life and ensure that those found culpable are brought to justice.
“While we continue to call on security agents enforcing the current lockdown in the state to ensure they follow all service regulations regarding use of firearms in internal security operations and, indeed, condemn all extra-judicial killing of unarmed citizens, it is also unacceptable for hoodlums to organize themselves into mobs to try to burst the necessary lockdown or overawe armed security agents that are performing their lawful duties.
“Nobody needs to die if we all do what is expected of us at this time and always. The decision to lockdown our state is one made to save the lives of our people,” the commissioner said.
Three persons are said to have been killed in the past two weeks in Abia state by security agencies enforcing the lockdown order in the state.
Abia state has no confirmed case of the new coronavirus.