The Inspector General, Mr. Solomon Arase said on Wednesday that the Police has clamped down and is prosecuting no fewer than 137 lawless civilians agitating for the return of the defunct Biafra Republic.
He said, “What I can assure you is that we will not allow any group to disturb the peace of this country. We will clamp down on them, we will deal with them, we will prosecute them. Already, we have about 137 of them who are undergoing prosecution across the length and breadth of the South East and we will continue to do that.”
LEADERSHIP however gathered from a reliable source that governor Willie Obiano may be force to declare curfew in Anambra State before the week runs out, to further tame the activities of the agitators whom have gone hay wire.
A source who close to the governor who spoke on condition of anonymity revealed that the decision to place curfew in the state to help calm down tension may not be unconnected with a telephone call to a head of one of Nigeria’s Security Agencies, who recommend the plan action as the only remedy to the about to heated restiveness in the state.
The police boss who lamented bitterly that most Nigerians are lawless, said, it was inexcusable for agitators to occupy federal highways , warning that the police will not fold it hands and watch security situation in the South–East deteriorate, as it will be forced to apply the rule of engagement for internal security operations which includes principle of proportionality.
According to Arase, “The latest manifestation of this lawlessness is the attempt to blockade the Onitsha end of Niger Bridge on 1st December, 2015, an action that caused major hardship to innocent and law abiding motorists, and citizens. The act also occasioned serious dislocation of business activities,” Arase lamented.
The IGP who made his first appearance at the ministry of interior weeks after shunning the presidential directive of an immediate merger of the police force with the interior ministry made the disclosure while fielding questions from news men in Abuja.
Arase explained that rather than use minimum force in dealing with the civilians agitating for the return of the defunct Biafra Republic, the police have resorted to strictly handling the matter professionally, based on the fact that every Nigerian had the right to political and democratic space.
He said, “while we are conscious of the fact that it is the duty of police officers and other security agencies to ensure outright enforcement of law and order, we are also duty bound to intervene professionally, ensuring that these Biafran agitators do not cross the line of civil freedom to breakdown peace and stability of any given area.”
While stressing that Nigerians are lawless people, Mr. Arase sent an unequivocal warning to all Nigerians, more especially to all those threatening for the dismemberment of the Country, committing what he termed as wanton destruction of critical infrastructures of government to desist from such wicked act.
The IGP said he has directed the mobilisation and deployment of Police Mobile Force (PMF) across the country to reinforce security in the State Commands that MASSOB and IPOB are currently attempting to utilise as launching pad for their sinister intentions.
His woards, ‘The Assistant Inspectors – General of Police Zone 5, (Benin); Zone 6, (Calabar) and Zone 9 (Umuahia) as well as all Commissioners of Police in the affected States in the South East and neighboring States have also been directed to henceforth maximally exercise their statutory Mandate in relation to prevention and disruption of any gathering that threatens public order and national cohesion.
Meanwhile, Arase debunked speculation that former President, Goodluck Jonathan was attacked in Bayelsa State by thugs on Tuesday, arguing that a driver veered his car into the ex-President’s convoy but insisted that no harm was intended.
He said: “From what I heard from the [State] Commissioner of Police, somebody veered into their [the President’s] convoy but I don’t think it was intended to hurt him. We have crazy drivers all over the place; Nigerians don’t like obeying the law