MANY schools in Owerri metropolis on Monday, ended abruptly school session and forced their students to return home over the alleged threat to attack them by unknown gunmen.
The gunmen had in the letter posted at strategic places in the city, warned that there should be no movement in the whole state on Mondays.
They also directed in the unsigned letter that the national anthem and pledge should not be recited in any school or institution in the state.
To avoid being cut in the web, proprietors of many private schools hurriedly closed down. Some public schools were also under lock and key.
Some of the school proprietors who could not mention their names for security reasons, said they had to shut down their schools because of a letter that went viral on social media linked to unknown gunmen, warning that there would no longer be movement, and schools will shut down on every Monday of the week in Igboland.
According to them, “There would be an attack on any school that fails to obey such an order.”
Some parents who got wind of the threat letter opted to keep their children and wards at home.
In the letter, the gunmen also warned tricycle operators (Keke NAPEP ) not to be on duty on Mondays in their own interest.
The state government, however, admonished residents to go about their normal business. It specifically asked civil servants to ignore the call to stay away from their offices on Mondays.
According to the government, any civil servant that fails to report for duty on Mondays would be sanctioned.
Imo State has been facing security challenges due to the activities of gunmen. Just last week, a police station and the home of Ohanaeze Ndigbo President-General, Prof. George Obiozor, were bombed by the gunmen.
Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) which some suspected to be the mastermind, distanced itself from the attack on the Obiozor’s residence in Awo Omama. It vowed to track down the perpetrators.
The letter by the gunmen partly reads: “We the Unknown Gunmen has (sic) concluded that from now henceforth, there will be no receding (sic) of the national anthem or national pledge in any school or gathering in Igbo land.
“Any school or institution found residing (sic) Nigeria national anthem or pledge will be shutdown (sic) and owner of the school will bring (sic) to justice. Be guided. Don’t say we did not inform you.
“Every Monday must be respected accordingly as the seat (sic) at home day. Any group of person (sic) violating the seat (sic) at home order will be severely dealt with.”
The state government, through a statement by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, assured residents that adequate arrangements had been put in place to secure their lives and properties.