The Commissioner of Police in Enugu State, Ahmed Ammani, has ordered the deployment of officials across the state to ensure public safety on Mondays and all days in the state.
This follows the 1 June order by the new Enugu governor, Peter Mbah, cancelling the weekly sit-at-home order by the proscribed Independent People of Biafra (IPOB).
Mondays are observed as sit-at-home days by many residents of Enugu and the other four South-east states in compliance with the IPOB directive which the separatists group uses force to enforce. Many people have been killed or injured and businesses destroyed for daring to disobey the directive.
To deter residents from continuing to obey the IPOB directive, Governor Mbah, on Saturday, declared that schools, markets, retail outlets, hospitals, transporters, and malls that continue to obey the sit-at-home order would be shut.
Mr Mbah also set up a task force to monitor compliance with his new directive from Monday, 5 June.
In a statement issued on Sunday by Daniel Ndukwe, police spokesman in Enugu State, the police commissioner said he had ordered strategic units to deploy personnel and operational resources to actualise the governor’s declaration.
The police commissioner said he gave his order to strategic personnel and units such as area commanders, divisional police officers, commanders of Police Mobile Force Squadron Bases, and tactical and operational units.
He said they would ensure maximum public security and safety of residents and property in the state on all days, including Mondays.
“I have ordered them to ensure that the strategies already devised to reverse the ugly trend are implemented to the letter and equally warned them that lapses on their part would not be tolerated.
“I have directed the supervisory officers and personnel under them to live up to expectations by ensuring that every part of the state is visibly patrolled.
“The personnel should also ensure that necessary policing actions are taken to forestall possible adverse activities of the undesirable criminal elements
“Innocent and law-abiding residents deserve to go about their lawful businesses without fear of harassment or physical threats by unscrupulous and subversive criminal elements, enforcing the illegal sit-at-home order,’’ Mr Ammani said in the statement.
He said the military and other security agencies would join police operatives in the enforcement of the governor’s cancellation of IPOB’s sit-at-home order.
He warned unrepentant criminal elements, known to have murdered fellow citizens, and destroyed their property and socio-economic well-being in the name of enforcing the illegal sit-at-home order to retrace their steps.
“Unrepentant criminal elements that take pleasure in wanton destruction should turn a new leaf as security forces shall not spare any person or individuals found wanting,’’ he said.
Mr Ammani enjoined citizens to cooperate with security operatives while remaining law-abiding and vigilant as they fully begin to go about their lawful businesses on Mondays, like every other work day.
He urged residents to promptly report criminals and their activities to the nearest police station or call the police emergency hotlines on 08032003702, 08075380883, 08086671202 or 08098880172 for necessary policing actions.
IPOB, headed by detained Nnamdi Kanu, seeks an independent country for Igbo-speaking people, in South-east and South-south Nigeria.
The group is not, however, believed to have the backing of a majority of Igbos.
The group and its militant arm, ESN, have been accused of carrying out multiple attacks in the South-east leading to the killing of hundreds of people and the kidnap of many others.
Mr Kanu is being prosecuted for treason by the federal government and is being detained in Abuja.
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