20170527

IGP orders policemen: Deal decisively with Biafra agitators

The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has directed his men to deal decisively with Biafra agitators who ordered the closure of markets in the South-East to mark the Biafra Day.

Various Biafran groups, including the IPOB, MASSOB, had directed markets in the zone not to open on Tuesday in continuation of their clamour for a separate nation for the Igbo people.

But the police, in a statement by Force spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, said the police were deeply concerned with the security implications “with regards to the renewed hostilities and subversive propaganda aimed at undermining law and order in the South-Eastern states.”

Moshood said the IG had directed the Commissioners of Police in the affected states and their supervising Assistant Inspectors-General of Police to place their men and equipment on red alert to deal with the Biafra agitators.

He said, “The Commissioners of Police in the affected states and their supervising Assistant Inspectors-General of Police have been directed by the IG to be strict, polite, civil and firm in dealing with the situation and put all the police personnel and anti-riot equipment on red alert to deal decisively in accordance with the law, with any eventuality from these groups.

“This is to prevent disruption of commercial activities, vehicular movements and (ensure) safety of lives and properties in some states of the federation considered to be flash/vulnerable points which have witnessed the unfortunate disturbance of public peace by these groups in recent past.”

The Force said it considered the activities of the Biafran groups as not only unlawful but highly provocative and capable of causing breach of the peace currently being enjoyed in the South-East states and other parts of the country.

“The planned protests and orders for market closure and illegal unilateral self-imposed restrictions of vehicular movements by these groups in the affected states should be disregarded by all well-meaning Nigerians,” the police advised.

The police spokesman called on the public to go about their lawful duties and other responsibilities without any fear or apprehension, noting that adequate security arrangements had been put in place by relevant agencies for the safety of every Nigerian throughout the country.

The Force said it was aware of the rights of every Nigerian to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association and freedom of movement, as provided by the 1999 Constitution.

But it noted that the rights must be observed with decorum, in good faith and without violating the rights of millions of other Nigerians to free movement and access to public/private facilities and their means of livelihood.

The police said, “The police will resist the action(s) of any person or group of persons for whatever course that is against the interest of public defence, public safety, public order, public morality and a threat to the rights and freedom of other Nigerians.”