The ban enforced on fireworks by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) during the yuletide will be enforced to the fullest in Obudu local government area says the Community Relations Officer (CRO) to the governor, Emmanuel Akwagiobe.
Akwagiobe disclosed this in a meeting with the traders union and relevant government authorities in Obudu in what he described as a bid to stop the sale of fireworks in the council area as directed by IGP Solomon Arase to forestall “unforeseen circumstances” in the “security of the people of Obudu”.
He also argued that most times robbery incidences go unnoticed because “a gunshot could be mistaken for fireworks”.
Citing the November 26, 2014 robbery incidence at Zenith Bank Obudu, he said that, “At first we thought it was fireworks and everyone was relaxed until when the shooting (was sustained). So please traders help us so we can help you.”
The Special Adviser on Security to the Obudu council chairman, Patrick Agogo in his remarks in the meeting which held at the CRO’s office located along Prison road, a stone throw away from the council secretariat said “there is need to enforce this ban” because “Insurgency has become a very big threat, that when things like fireworks are used, the security agencies will hardly differentiate it from fire arms”.
Reacting to a statement from the Police Officer who that warned any trader caught selling fireworks will be apprehended and immediately transferred to the force headquarters in Calabar, the Traders Union Chairman challenged him to come plain and deny he does not know the people who sell fireworks in Obudu.
He however promised to pass the message around to all members of the union.
Findings by CrossRiverWatch revealed that fireworks (popularly known as Knockouts) were still in use with funeral ceremonies been the platform in most occasions as “they have replaced the old Ubi (traditional earthen launched fireworks used in ceremonies) which is quite costly to get” says Chief John Utsetse a traditional leader.
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