*Okowa’s 7pm curfew a defiant of Buhari’s directives
*Says Police now exploit Deltans massively
The Ijaw Peoples Development Initiative, IPDI, has called on the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa to lift the 7pm to 6am curfew in the state, stressing that the Police force now uses it as an avenue to exploit civilians in the state.
The IPDI also stated that Senator Okowa 7pm curfew is in defiant with Buhari’s directives for the 10pm curfew nationwide.
iBrandTV had reported that the state government initiated the curfew in a bid to mitigate the rising number of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the state.
However, in a statement signed by the National President, IPDI, Comrade Ozobo Austin, it stated that, It is sad Okowa has completely abandoned Deltans for massive police extortion in the name of enforcing the state curfew order.
“The police in Delta State has equally abandoned its primary assignment of protecting lives and property to massive extortion of members of the public since the commencement of the nationwide lockdown and repeated unsavoury 7pm to 6am curfews imposed by Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa.
“The police ambush and trap Deltans in daily basis for defaults as the 7pm is not convenient for people to have retired to their homes completely as people now go extra miles to put food in the table due to the hard times we are in, hence, we want Okowa 7pm unsavoury curfew imposed on Deltans to be lifted.
“In the same vein, the Federal government has lifted curfew nationwide to 10PM and there is no point for the declaration of another 7PM state curfew imposed on Deltans as it appears to be in contradiction with the Federal government directive.
“It should be noted that Sen. Okowa 7pm curfew is in defiant with Buhari’s directives for the 10pm curfew. It is only an insane governor that will act contrary to his president or national directive, as Okowa can’t tell us that COVID-19 pandemic in Delta is more severe than Abuja, Lagos, Ogun and other parts of the federation where the curfew is relaxed to 10PM,” the statement added.
7pm curfew, a misplaced priority
The group also noted that the 7pm curfew imposed on Deltans by Sen. Okowa was a misplaced priority.
The statement further stated that, “It is only in a banana republic that a governor will think COVID-19 only spread in the night. It’s also sad for a governor to reason that more movements and business activities capable of spreading COVID-19 take place in the night than the day.
“It’s immature to canvass that curfew in the night would help to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
“It may interest Okowa to know that night curfew would not stop the spread of COVID-19 as all major activities capable of spreading the pandemic take place in the day. Our markets are done in the day.
“Churches gathered in the day. Burial and marriage activities take place in the day. Offices are open in the day. Shops open in the day. People travel in the day. The most annoying aspect of it, our markets and churches do no-longer follow the COVID-19 guidelines, the markets and churches are now overcrowded, buyers come to buy with bare hands.
“They select goods and products randomly with their bare hands. We fail to observe social or physical distancing COVID-19 guidelines in our large gatherings.
“These are grounds for more spread of COVID-19 during the day. Our governor Sen. Okowa should be more concerned on these above-stated bottlenecks and not imposing an ill-fated curfew on Deltans, thereby creating more room for police to exploit Deltans.”
Curfew causing hardship
IPDI also stated that Sen. Okowa should be reminded that his 7pm curfew has caused more hardship on Deltans, 7pm is an hour that records massive movements of people from working places or business places to their various destinations.
“They are always trapped by this nonsensical curfew, making the police to take advantage on members of the public unduly.
“It is sad that Okowa is partial and tribalistic, there is no such 7pm curfew in Asaba, the people in Asaba are allowed to stay out till 10pm in the night, the police never harass Asaba residents. It means Asaba is no longer in Delta State.
“Why the different curfews in Delta state? The police in Warri and other areas in the state have turned road ushers to ATM machines, curfew defaulters pay heavily and motorists are harassed, intimidated and exploited willfully in the name of curfew defaults once it is beyond 7pm. Since the beginning of the curfew, we have not gotten restful evening hours as regards moving to our homes from our work or business places.
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“It is on record that the Federal government have relaxed nationwide curfew to 10am to allow workers and business people to move to their homes interrupted in the evening hours. The Okowa 7pm curfew is made in deviant as no state order supersedes federal order or directives, except Okowa is telling us that he is the president of banana republic.
“It is our demand that Okowa should lift his 7pm to 6pm curfew in the state in immediate effect as it is in deviant of the Federal government 10pm curfew directives and to avoid massive police extortion in the state. The commissioner for police should be cautioned to call the police who acts as a license robber to order. In a failure of that deltans may close down the state in a violent protest.”