•AIG, commissioners directed to disarm groups
From Molly Kilete, Abuja and Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Solomon Arase, has ordered Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIGs) and Commissioners of Police in Anambra and Delta states to, as a matter of urgency, arrest and disarm members of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB).
Arase also ordered commissioners of police where members of the group are currently operating and allegedly disturbing the public peace with firearms to arrest and disarm them.
Arase said a situation where police personnel, who have been performing their statutory functions in the most professional and civil manner, are targeted and attacked shows that the group, who are orchestrating the insurrection, have crossed the threshold and tested the common will of the nation.
The police boss, who gave the order in Abuja, equally directed that all those arrested in connection with the killings of police personnel be charged to court and prosecuted for murder.
“The targeted attacks on police personnel, who have been performing their statutory functions in the most professional and civil manner since the latest resurgence disorder, portrays IPOB activists, who are orchestrating the insurrection, as having crossed the threshold in their misguided attempt to test the common will of the nation.”
Arase, in the statement, signed by the force Public Relations Officer, Bisi Kolawole reiterated the determination of the police to eliminating any threat to internal security and assured Nigerians of its commitment to their safety and security.
However, IPOB insisted yesterday that the total number of members killed during the Biafra anniversary, were 53. The group also said those with bullets wounds are 207 and put the figure of those arrested at 403.
The group also alleged that Hausa/Fulani terrorist group attacked its members with the Army, Navy and police who killed and carried dead bodies with their hilux vans.
A statement jointly signed by Emma Powerful, Dr. Clifford Iroanya and Mr. Emma Mmezu condemned “the killing of unarmed members of IPOB at Nkpor near Onitsha and other places.”
Meanwhile, police in Anambra, yesterday, insisted no casualty was recorded on the side of the police and were not aware of other casualties recorded in the state during the Biafra anniversary.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Mr. Ali Okechukwu said about 26 persons were arrested with a dynamite, charms, machetes, banners with inscription of Biafra colours.
He noted that a police patrol vehicle and two other vehicles belonging to vigilante groups were burnt by the hoodlums. He urged the public to go about their normal businesses as police will continue to protect lives and property.
After the bloody Biafran anniversary, normalcy has returned to Nkpor, near Onitsha.
Also, police are investigating a march by members of MASSOB in Owerri on Monday with a view to prosecuting culpable persons.
Police Public Relations Officer of the Police Command in Imo, DSP Andrew Enwerem, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Owerri.