President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned Monday’s deadly attack on the Police Command Headquarters and Correctional Facility in Owerri, Imo State, describing it as an act of terrorism.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed that the president has directed the security agencies to ensure that the culprits are brought to book.
The president appealed to members of the public to assist security agents with information that could lead to the arrest of the criminals.
The statement read: “President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the deadly insurgent attack that took place on the Police Command Headquarters and the Correctional Facility in Owerri, Imo State, on Monday, calling it an act of terrorism.
“In his reaction to the incident early on Monday, President Buhari praised the initial response by security guards and security forces for preventing greater loss of life and the destruction of public property.
“The President directed security and intelligence agencies in the state and the geo-political zone to fully mobilize and go after the terrorists, apprehend them and get them punished under the full weight of the law.
“He also called for the best efforts to be made to rearrest fleeing prison detainees, many of whom are believed to be deadly criminals.
“President Buhari then appealed to members of the public to assist the law enforcement agencies with any relevant information that could lead to the apprehension of these criminals who perpetrated this despicable act.
“He also urged members of the public to be vigilant as all of us have a stake in preserving our way of life from disruption by terrorists and anarchists while the Federal Government will use every available tool at its disposal to confront and terminate this bare-faced anarchy.”
Those behind Imo attack are members of IPOB’s ESN, says IGP
The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, has revealed that operatives of the Eastern Security Network (ESN) carried out Monday’s attacks in Owerri, the Imo State capital.
Adamu condemned the alleged act by the security arm of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB).
The IGP in a statement signed by Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, ordered the immediate deployment of additional units of Police Mobile Force and other Police Tactical Squads to Imo so as to strengthen security in the state and prevent further attacks on security formations or any other critical national infrastructure in the state.
According to the IGP, “Preliminary investigations have revealed that the attackers, who came in their numbers with sophisticated weapons such as General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMGs), Sub-Machine Guns (SMGs), AK49 rifles, Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs), Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), are members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)/Eastern Security Network (ESN).
“The attempt by the attackers to gain access to the Police armoury at the Headquarters was totally and appropriately resisted by Police operatives on duty who repelled the attackers and prevented them from breaking-in and looting the armoury.
“The armoury is thus intact! Similarly, the police suffered no human casualty, apart from a police Constable who sustained a minor bullet wound on his shoulder.”
The IGP also directed the Commissioner of Police in the state and a new Special Investigation Team “to carry out holistic investigations into the incident with a view to fishing-out the perpetrators and bringing them to justice.”
“The IGP, who described the deliberate and criminal attack on security operatives as an attack on the soul of our nation, has enjoined leaders in Imo State, the South-East and other parts of the country to speak out against the unfolding violence and criminality.
“The IGP calls on citizens to avail the Police and other security agencies with useful information that can assist in identifying and arresting the criminals.
“He vowed that the perpetrators will be brought to book, noting that the Force is doing all within its powers to curb the activities of unscrupulous elements hell-bent on threatening the unity, safety, security and socio-economic wellbeing of Nigerians,” the statement added.