Alkali Baba, inspector-general of police (IGP), has launched a special operation to curb the increasing violence in the south-east.
The police IG said the ‘Operation Restore Peace’ launched in Enugu on Tuesday is part of a new plan to protect residents and facilities in the five states in the region.
He also accused the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) of being behind the violence, adding that the group’s activities have caused “unjustifiable inter-ethnic violence” in the states.
There has been a spike in criminal attacks in the south-east with security and government agencies increasingly targeted.
There is no confirmed cause of the threats in the south-east yet, but TheCable found out that killings in the region tripled after the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) launched a security arm — the group denies any wrongdoing.
In a statement on Tuesday, Frank Mba, police spokesman, quoted the IGP as expressing his readiness to “returning the South-Eastern region to its historical pride of place where its people are known to be peaceful, tolerant, innovative, industrious and entrepreneurial.”
He said the operation will be carried out by the police in collaboration with the armed forces and other security agencies.
According to Mba, “the IGP noted that the special operation has become necessary to engender all-inclusive security actions to roll-back the murderous attacks, violence, proliferation of weapons and other threats to law and order occasioned by the separatist agenda being heightened by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its armed wing, the Eastern Security Network (ESN) in the South-East region.
“The IGP observed that activities of the group in the region have assumed an armed dimension in which important political and community leaders, as well as personnel and assets of the Nigeria Police, Military and other security agencies, critical national infrastructure, are being constantly targeted in clearly well-coordinated, premeditated manners.
“This is in addition to deepening inter-ethnic prejudice and intolerance, unjustifiable inter-ethnic violence and counter-violence, loss of lives and massive destruction of properties.”
Baba added that the operation will soon be extended to other states in the region “to confront criminal elements, take the battle to their doorsteps and re-order our cherished national values in the region.”
He said the exercise will also be replicated in other parts of the country to address peculiar crimes such as banditry, kidnapping and armed robbery.