As Secessionists, Government fight for Southeast’s soul: Police in Imo free detainees
Charles Nwoke, Owerri, Nigeria
April 26, 2021
Authorities of the Area Command of the Nigerian Police in Owerri, during the weekend, may have freed detainees in the facility’s cell.
According to a source, some criminals have written the command to immediately release all detainees in their custody or risk a serious attack on them.
Similarly, other divisions and stations may have followed suit in compliance with such threats of attacks.
Already, most of the police officers of Imo State command have eschewed wearing their uniforms in preference for mufti because of the fear of unknown gunmen.
This becomes imperative to avert any identification in the wake of frequent attacks and killings by unknown gunmen in the state.
Again, Owerri, the capital of Imo State and its environs seems to be calm as influential politicians and rich individuals who hitherto were in the habit of moving around the city in their noisy siren-fitted exotic cars have been going around without police escorts and orderly. Government officials in the state are covering their vehicle number plates over fears of being easily identified by attackers.
Exasperated by the incessant attacks in the region, South-East governors, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, religious and political leaders of the zone yesterday rose from their meeting in Enugu State and restated the need for the restructuring of the country even as they called on the Federal Government to immediately fish out and prosecute those behind the attack at the country home of Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma.
The leaders equally asked the various attorneys general and House of Assembly in the zone to amend existing state laws to accommodate the zone’s new security outfit, Ebube Agu.
The meeting attended by host governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi; Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi; Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu; and Deputy Governor of Imo, Prof Placid Njoku, restated their ban on open grazing in the zone and called on security agencies and local vigilante to enforce it in all states of the South-East geopolitical zone.
Reading the communiqué of the meeting, the Chairman of South-East governors’ forum, Governor David Umahi, said the meeting was in support of restructuring, setting up of state police, and other national issues to tackle increasing insecurity in the country.
He condemned the attack on Uzodinma and other state infrastructure, noting that apprehending and prosecuting the perpetrators would restore hope in the security of the zone.
Umahi restated the adoption of Ebube Agu with its headquarters in Enugu, stressing that the outfit would work with the police and other security agencies in her operations for the protection of the South-East region.
Meanwhile, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) yesterday alleged that all cattle markets in the South-East, provide safe havens for bandits and terrorists pretending to be herdsmen.
IPOB Media and Publicity Secretary, Comrade Emma Powerful, spoke in a press release while reacting to the recent assault on Nigeria Police and Enugu State government officials at the Enugu Artisan market.
In a telephone chat with Channels Television last night, he said a new commander had been appointed in place of the slain IPOB commander, Ikonso.
He also promised serious and series of reprisal attacks in the coming days.