PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has described Monday attacks on Police command headquarters and Nigeria Correctional Facility (prison) in Owerri, Imo State, as acts of terrorism.
Buhari, who condemned the incident in a statement issued by presidential spokesperson Garba Shehu, 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 commended the initial response of security guards and forces in preventing greater loss of lives and destruction of public property.
He appealed to members of the public to assist law enforcement agencies with any relevant information that could lead to the apprehension of those who perpetrated the act.
He also urged members of the public to be vigilant, saying that everyone had a stake in preserving the country’s way of life from disruption by terrorists and anarchists. He noted that the Federal Government would use every available tool at its disposal to confront and terminate the bare-faced anarchy.
Police finger Eastern Security Network
THE Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu said preliminary investigations revealed members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN) were responsible for the deadly attack.
Adamu, who directed the Imo State Commissioner of Police to fish out the perpetrators, said the attackers were in possession of sophisticated weapons such as general purpose machine guns (GPMGs), sub-machine guns (SMGs), AK49 rifles, rocket propelled grenades (RPGs), and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
He also ordered the immediate deployment of additional units of Police Mobile Force (PMF) and other Police tactical squads to Imo to strengthen security in the state and prevent further attacks on security formations or any other critical national infrastructure.
The ICIR had reported how some gunmen in the early hours of Monday razed Imo State Police Command headquarters.
Some vehicles parked at the command headquarters were also burnt down. It was gathered that the hoodlums further freed suspects in almost all the cells at the State Criminal Investigation Department of the command.
They also reportedly attacked the Owerri Correctional Prison in Imo State capital and freed over 1,500 inmates.
IPOB dissociates self from attack
The Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) has, however, dissociated itself from the attack, saying that its members and ESN had never been involved in assaulting Nigeria’s security operatives.
The Media and Publicity Secretary of the group Emma Powerful urged the Nigerian government and media houses to stop labelling IPOB members and its security operatives as unknown gunmen, stressing that their primary assignment was mainly to resist the terror of the killer Fulani herders.