THE Imo State Police Command has said the use of fireworks popularly known as knockout or banger was banned because hoodlums use it as a distractive mechanism to rob and kidnap their victims.
Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Imo State Command, Micheal Abattam, made the disclosure on Sunday while briefing newsmen in Owerri.
“The Imo State Police Command has observed with utmost dismay the indiscriminate use of fireworks and other explosives in the state and hereby warn the general public that, the ban on the use of fireworks and other explosives is still very much in force and the command will enforce all the extant laws prohibiting the use of ‘ KNOCKOUTS ‘, ‘ BANGER ‘ etc especially this yuletide season.
“It is common knowledge that hoodlums use such fireworks and Explosives to cause distraction, panic and consequently pandemonium and in the process rob / kidnap unsuspecting victims. Also, such fireworks and explosives could be life-threatening as they may cause heart attacks in aged persons and fire outbreaks.
“To forestall crime and criminality in the State parents/guardians are advised to educate and guide their children and wards against the use of fireworks and other explosives.
“Wholesalers / Retailers of such items are equally warned to stop distribution/ sales of fireworks in the state as anyone found complicit will be arrested, the fireworks or explosives confiscated and such person(s) prosecuted forthwith.
“The Commissioner of Police, Imo State Command, CP Rabiu Hussaini psc, has directed all Area Commanders, Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) to ensure strict enforcement of the ban in their areas and assured Imolites of the command’s commitment to ensuring a crime-free Christmas and new year celebrations in the state,” Police said.