Imo governor contradicts IGP, says criminals claiming to be IPOB members behind Owerri attack


Governor of Imo state, Hope Uzodimma, says those responsible for the attack in the state are “criminal elements” operating under the cover of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Earlier on Monday, gunmen attacked a federal prison, state police command headquarters and a military checkpoint in Owerri, Imo state, setting fire to buildings and vehicles.

The inspector-general of police, Mohammed Adamu, had blamed IPOB for the attacks, while the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) said 1,844 prisoners were “forcefully released” from custody during the jailbreak.
Condemning the attack in a statement issued late on Monday, Uzodimma noted that the government is working with security agencies to apprehend the attackers.

“I condemn in strong terms, the Monday wee-hours attacks on facilities belonging to the Police and Correctional Services in Owerri. The development is regrettable and I call for thorough investigation into the dastardly act,” he said.

“Criminal elements claiming to be members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), had attacked the Imo State Police headquarters and Owerri Correctional Services Centre with various degrees of dangerous weapons, destroying buildings, vehicles and other sensitive official materials and unlawfully setting free inmates which the authorities said were over 1800.

“The primary aim of the IPOB members who carried out the attack was to create fears in the minds of the people and at the same time, strive to secure the release of their fellow criminals in custody.

“We are on top of the situation and there is no need for undue anxiety. I have met with the heads of security agencies in the state to evaluate the incident. I am confident that the situation has been brought under control as the plan of the perpetrators of the despicable atrocity which was to cause panic and fear in the State has collapsed already.”

He, however, added that an investigation into the incident has begun, and warned youths against being used to destabilise the peace of the state.

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