By Stephen Ubanna
On the orders of President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired army General, who is on a two weeks Medical vacation in the United Kingdom, Mohammed Adamu , the Inspector General of Police, IGP, has mobilised the Assistant Commissioners of Police in their respective Zones and the state Commissioners of Police to tighten up security around the Nigerian Correctional Service, NCoS, an agency of the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, and the Force armouries across the country.
The decision may have been informed following the attack on the Imo state NCoS , facility, in Owerri, Capital of Imo state and the attempt on the state Police armoury on Monday, April 5, 2021 by the alleged armed embers of the Indigenous People of Biafra,IPOD. The IGP , had linked the attacks to the NCoS and the attempt to invade the state Police Command armoury to the proscribed Group.
Given that IPOD has been proscribed by an Abuja High Court in 2017,and declared as a terrorist Organisation which may have informed why the Katsina state born Nigerian President had described ‘’the attacks on the south eastern state Custodial centre as an act of terrorism’’.
The Katsina state born Nigerian President who is not happy that over 1,800, inmates serving different jail terms including life imprisonment were released from custody, was said to have directed all the security and intelligence agencies in the south east’’to mobilise and go after the assailants’’ , whom he he had described as terrorists, and in the category of the Islamic Fundamentalist Group , BokoHaram and the Islamic State of West African Province, ISWAP, insurgents operating in the north east states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe , and apprehend them to face the full weight of the Law. The Nigerian President also believes that there is no difference between the IPOD and the Bandits in the north west states of Zamfara, Kaduna and Kaduna, his home state or Niger , the home state of general Ibrahim Babangida, a one-time military President.
Many believe that the IPOD Leadership and their members have played into the hands of the Nigerian President by daring to attack a national asset: NCoS ,facility. The retired arny General may have been looking for an opportunity to descend heavily on the proscribed IPOD Group which had been operating illegally in different parts of the south east and the oil Rivers state and Cross river state in the south-south geo-political region and the opportunity came.
Garba Shehu, a senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, may have alluded to this when he said that the government will use ‘’every available tool at its disposal to confront and terminate the bare-faced anarchy’’.
As a prelude to getting to the root of the recent attack on the NCoS, facility, in Owerri, the Imo state Capital, John Marabure, acting Comptroller General, NIS, was sad to have ordered a Comprehensive Investigation into the incident and in Collaboration with other security agencies . He was said to have also Commenced a search and recovery operations to Capture the fleeing prison inmates.
While many of the inmates at the Owerri, Custodial Centre, saw the forceful breaking into the Custodial facility as an opportunity to escape, 35 of the inmates were said to have refused to join other inmates to escape but stay put, awaiting to Completete their years of imprisonment and be released officially.
In spite of the fact that the alleged IPOD gun men had succeeded in opening the door of the Owerri Custodial Centre for the all the inmates to escape, six of the more than 1,800 inmates who had escaped were said to have voluntarily returned to the facility. That much was confirmed by Francis Enabore, the NCoS, spokesperson.
The alleged IPOD gunmen may have regrouped to break into the police armoury in the state police Command but met a brick wall as they could not have their way. ‘’The armoury is intact and no weapon is missing’’, the police Authorities had said.
The IPOD gun men who were said to have attempted to invade the Force armoury in the state were said to have armed themselves with sophisticated weapons such as’ the General Purpose Machine Guns, GPMGs, Sub-Machne Guns, SUMGs, , AK49 rifles, Rocket Propelled Grenades, RPGs, and Improvised Explosives Devices, IED, but gain entry because of the tight security. Note that these were the same weapons that were said to have been used to attack the Owerri CoS.
Informed sources told The Value News that one of the recovered Operational vehicles belonging
to the alleged IPOD attackers is currently being subjected to forensic test and further investigations. This is bad news to the gangster and their sponsors as they would surely be traced and arrested to face the Law as a deterrence to others.
Hope Uzodimma, a one-time Senator of Federal Republic of Nigeria and governor of Imo state, who is not happy that an NCoS , facility,and the state Police armoury could be attacked in Owerri, the Imo state Capital, may have been forced him to hold an emergency security Council meeting with the various security agencies Chiefs. The governor’s anger was how the attackers who have been terrorising the region in the recent time could set ablaze some 50 operational vehicles belonging to the state Police Command and NCoS in one day.
. This may have informed why the governor, who is not resting on his oars, as the state Chief Security Officer, is helping the police to track the inmates who had escaped from the NCoS Custodial Centre.
With what is happening in the south east states , particular, Imo and Eboyi states, the fear in several quarters in the region is that the Nigerian President may militarise the region as obtained in the north west ern sattes of Zamfara, Kaduna and His state, Katsina o north eastern states of Adama, Atiku Abubakar, a former Vice president, home state, Borno and Yobe in order to tame the gunmen.