Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi state has on Friday officially banned the use of firework within the state as festive season fast approaches.
According to the Governor, the ban was motivated by a rumor making round, that there was a bomb expulsion at Glory Land secondary school, Azugwu, in Ebonyi LGA of the state.
Speaking to journalists at a press conference in Abakaliki, Umahi through his Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Francis Nweke, warned that anyone caught in possession of knockout will be arrested.
According to him: “when his Excellency received the message about alleged bomb expulsion in one of the secondary schools in the state, he was shocked. And he gave immediate directive for further investigation about that.
“It was later found out that it was a mere knockout. As a result of this, his Excellency ban the use of knockout in the state, especially in this festive period. He gave the directive this afternoon. And that is the stand of the governor for now.
“when the governor gives directives, it is expected that the general public should obey it, if they don’t, any person caught will face the full wrath of the law and the government disciplinary committee” he stated.
Meanwhile, the commissioner for internal security and border peace, Mr Stanley Okoro Emegha, who had earlier in a chat with journalists vowed to close down all shops selling knockouts in the state.
He equally dismissed the rumour making the rounds, that there was bomb explosion in the said secondary school.
According to him: “We showed a proactive response towards the incident yesterday. This is because we will not allow the governor to do everything.
“The way the incident was blown is unfortunate. There was nothing and absolutely nothing like bomb expulsion incident in that Glory Land school, Azugwu.
“There was nothing like explosive device in that place. You know that this is a Christmas period, that thing was a Christmas firework.
“A student smuggled one into the classroom while others were taking their exams and he was playing with it. And in the process, one exploded and got him wounded. Some of the students were not expecting such and the shock got them down.
“I was called immediately and on getting there, I met with the affected student. I was there when he was rushed to the hospital. The two others who got shocked later regained consciousness and continued with their exams.
“I was the one that told the parents to go back to their homes because it was a knockout. As I was leaving to the place, I called the state police command and the DSS to start moving to that place, thinking that it was an explosion. And we discovered that it was a knockout.
“Students continued with their exams after the whole thing. It was not up to 30 minutes, normalcy returned to the school.
“The PPRO called me this morning, speaking bitterly about it. Because of this that has happened, I will go round the markets in the town and close down any shops selling knockouts in the state,” he stated.