Daily Trust

Police, army, others in show of force over IPOB

A detachment of the police, army, navy and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps on Wednesday embarked on a show of force on major streets in Umuahia.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the show of force is an apparent response to the Sept. 14 stay-at-home directive, issued by the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB).

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The security operatives showed their presence in full force in the Abia capital with residents of the city watching in amazement.

A long motorcade of the operatives, took off from the Umuahia Central Police Station and drove through Garki to Ossah Road to Michael Okpara Square through the Abia Tower back to the CPS through Bank Road to Afara community in Umuahia.

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The IPOB leader, Mr Nnamdi Kanu, is from Afara community.

Addressing newsmen at the end of the exercise, the Abia Commissioner of Police, Mr Anthony Ogbizi, said that the security agencies would invoke the anti-terrorism law to deal with any attempt by IPOB to cause breach of public peace in the state.

Ogbizi said the show of force was to demonstrate the collective resolve by the security agencies to contain any attempt by the group to put the anti-terrorism law to test.

“Our coming together is a signal of our resolve to confront any event that may rear its ugly head before, during and after Sept. 14.

“IPOB has been proscribed by the Federal Government and there are many laws in place.

“The group should not dare the law because we shall apply the rule of engagement in dealing with it.”

The commissioner said that the activities of IPOB in Abia last year could have plunged the nation into serious security crisis.

He said that it took the combined intervention of all the security agencies in the state to put the tension brought by the group under control.

The police chief said that the police command had recorded an incident in Aba, where Improvised Explosive Device, was used to attack some people.

He said that the incident was still being investigated and that the command was on the trail of those that produced the device.

Ogbizi said the security agencies were determined to ensure adequate security for lives and property, urging members of the public to go about their businesses without fear of molestation.

He, however, advised parents, religious and community leaders to assist security agencies in discouraging their people from engaging in acts capable of threatening the prevailing peace in Abia.

The Commander of the 14 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Ohafia, Brig.-Gen. Abubakar Ibrahim, said that Abia remained one of the safest states in the country.

Ibrahim advised residents to remain law abiding and to also take steps to sustain peace in the area.

He enjoined security operatives deployed to Abia to maintain peace and to relate harmoniously with one another in the course of their duties.