A detachment of the police, army, navy and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps on Wednesday drove round the major streets of Umuahia in a show-of-force, ahead of the September 14 sit-at-home order issued by the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB).
The long motorcade which took off from Umuahia Central Police Station (CPS), drove through Garki to Ossah Road-Michael Okpara Square to Abia Tower (Expressway) and back to CPS through Bank Road-Afara-Umuahia (Nnamdi Kanu’s village) and Aba Road.
Addressing journalists at the end of the exercise, the commissioner of police in the state, Anthony Ogbizi, said that the security agencies would invoke the anti-terrorism law to deal with any attempt by IPOB to cause a breach of public peace in the state before, during and after September 14.
Mr Ogbizi said that the show-of-force was to demonstrate the collective resolve by the different security agencies to contain any attempt by the group to put the anti-terrorism law to test.
“Our coming together is a signal of our resolve to confront any event that may rear it’s ugly head before, during and after Sept. 14.
“IPOB has been proscribed by the Federal Government and there are many laws in place. The group should not dare the law because we shall apply the rule of engagement in dealing with it,” he said. Mr Ogbizi said that the activities of the group in Abia in 2017 could have plunged the nation into a serious security crisis.
He said that it took the combined intervention of all the security agencies in the state to put the tension brought by the operations of the group under control.
The police boss said that the police command had recorded an incident in Aba where an improvised explosive device was used to attack some people.
He said that the incident was still being investigated and that the command was on the trail of those that produced the device.
He said that the security agencies were poised to ensure adequate security for lives and property and urged members of the public to go about their lawful businesses without fear of molestation. He advised parents, religious and community leaders to assist security agencies in discouraging their people from engaging in acts capable of threatening the prevailing peace in Abia.
The commander of the Nigerian Army, 14 Brigade Ohafia, Abubakar Ibrahim, said that Abia remained one of the safest states in the country.
Mr Ibrahim admonished residents to remain law-abiding.
Also, the two top security chiefs urged the security operatives deployed to maintain the peace to relate harmoniously with one another in the course of duty.