Owerri prison attack: IGP visits Imo, orders use of ‘maximum force’ on IPOB members, Uzodimma asks police to defend themselves

Inspector-general of police (IGP), Adamu Muhammed, has vowed to clamp down on members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) who he alleged carried out the attack on force headquarters and prison in Imo state.

The IGP made the vow on Tuesday when he visited the state to inspect damages caused by the attacks.

TMZNaija had reported how the two facilities were attacked by gunmen who reportedly freed over 1,800 prisoners in the early hours of Monday.

Some police vehicles were also razed in the incident which the IGP alleged was masterminded by IPOB.

Addressing police officers after inspecting the damage from the attack, the IGP said there is “no hiding place” for the IPOB members.

“Thos that were released by the attackers, I have been told, some of them belong to the IPOB group; the proscribed IPOB group,” he said.

“We are sending this message to them that there will be no hiding place. They will be re-arrested and many more of the criminals within that group will be arrested.”

"Whether in their homes and forest, we are determined to fish them out. I have instructed my men to use maximum force with the guns available to us.

“We have the authority to defend the country, which they don’t have. We will not allow these criminals to succeed.”

The IGP also asked Imo residents and leaders to join hands in fishing out criminals operating in the state.

Monday’s attacks were the latest in the growing security incidents targeting security facilities in the south-east in the past few months.

While IPOB and its outfit, the Eastern Security Network (ESN), has often been mentioned as suspects in the attacks, the group has maintained its members are peaceful.

IPOB spokesman, Emma Powerful, had said that they have no hand in Monday’s attacks in Imo state.

Meanwhile, governor of Imo, Hope Uzodinma, has asked police officers in the state to use their rifles to defend themselves against criminals.

The governor spoke on Tuesday after meeting with the IGP.

Uzodinma described the incidents as “an attack on the integrity of the government.”

He said: “If you can’t attack them, you can at least use your rifles to defend yourselves. Any attack on police formation is an insult to us as a government. We must take charge, take control and ensure discipline.

“We must not condone attacks by criminals on government. Police must not be compromised so that the integrity of government will remain intact,”

“This unfortunate tragedy can only be condemned by every reasonable mind, the intention was to put fear into our people and make them vulnerable.”

The governor also said he has commissioned a detailed investigation into the attack “in a bid to finding out the perpetrators and masterminders of this ugly incident, luckily for us, no life was lost.”

“I can assure you that my government working with security agencies shall rise to the occasion to get to the end of the matter,” he added.

The governor had earlier blamed the attack on criminals claiming to be IPOB members.

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