IMO State Governor Hope Uzodimma has blamed aggrieved politicians in the state for Monday’s daring attack on the headquarters of the Police and the Nigeria Correctional facility in Owerri, leading to the escape of more than 1,800 inmates.
The governor, who spoke on Wednesday while appearing on Channels Television’s Politics Today, said the objective of the politicians was to destabilise his administration and the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“What happened in Imo State last Monday is unbelievable. A group of hoodlums, of course, sponsored by some known politicians in Imo State, decided to destroy public infrastructure and government facilities, and attacked a correctional centre facility and also attacked a police state headquarters,” he said.
“But what is important to take home is for Nigerians to know of the plot by a group of aggrieved politicians to destablise the government of APC. I have done some thorough investigation and I have a credible lead as to those who are sponsoring these activities of these hoodlums.
“We are working hard to ensure that the sponsors of these dastardly acts are brought to book.”
He argued that though there were aggrieved IPOB members in the state, those behind the attacks were brought from outside the state.
“They (politicians) try to identify grievances of people in a particular area. They hire hoodlums from outside Imo State. They bring them in pretending to be IPOB and they commit this crime and they go away.
“It is not about IPOB. Yes, we agree, we have aggrieved IPOB members. But I can tell you, those who are doing these destructions, most of them were brought from outside Imo State.”
The governor said his administration had trained over 4,000 youths on community policing who would work with vigilantes to support the efforts of security agencies in the state.
The governor’s position was contrary to claims by former Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Adamu that IPOB was behind the attacks.
Adamu had said preliminary investigations revealed members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN), a security outfit of IPOB, attacked the facilities with sophisticated weapons such as general purpose machine guns (GPMGs), sub-machine guns (SMGs), AK49 rifles, rocket propelled grenades (RPGs), and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), an allegation the group had, however, denied.