April 10, 2021

Police stations attack: Imo elders speak on solutions

Imo attack political- Top ESN commander

Uzodimma expose, prosecute politicians behind it – Ex-Ohanaeze chairman

IPOB, Imo govt, FG all suspects – ASETU

Choose qualified, versatile persons in community policing – Imo monarch

All heads of security chiefs should face trial – INC

Listen to agitations of youths now – APGA Chieftain

By Chinonso Alozie, Owerri

Following the wave of attacks on public institutions across Imo state especially the Imo police headquarters and Owerri correctional centre, on Monday, the Elders of Imo, yesterday offered their advice on how the government of Imo state, as well as that of the federal government, could end the incessant attacks.

They spoke separately to Saturday Vanguard in Owerri, on what they think should be done urgently for peace and tranquillity to reign in Owerri and other parts of the state.

According to the Former Imo state Chairman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Professor Chidi Osuagwu, said: “The attacks are condemnable because they are not our culture. As you can see many people have been saying it is ESN or IPOB, but now it clearer. They said that they are not behind it.

“But it has been shown that they are not behind the attacks. From what the governor of the state said about it, in his speech, that it is being carried out for political reasons. So whoever is doing this be identified and exposed and put it to a stop.”

The National President of the Association of Southeast Towns Unions, ASETU, Emeka Diwe, said that their investigation is still ongoing on the attacks on the police stations and Owerri Correctional centre, adding that the Federal government, Imo state government and the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, are all suspects.

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Diwe gave his reasons that “We have been gathering information as you know, ASETU is not just for an individual it involves a lot of people. Our investigation is still ongoing but I want to give you some landmarks. Ask me I will tell you everybody is a suspect.

“Number one, there is confusion and everybody is a suspect. Nnamdi Kanu, is a suspect because remember his threat about one month ago, about the Orlu incident, when a clergy church was destroyed and some persons were taken into custody. He gave them one month to release those people or else the whole state will be on fire from that angle he is a suspect.”

On the Imo state government, ASETU said: “We are adding that Imo state government is a suspect. This thing happened dangerously in a place that is close to the government house and nothing was done and these people operated within almost three hours, where we should have the highest security defence. There was no counter-attack, no single casualty. Nothing was done to stop the attack, I want to say, from this angle the Imo state government is a suspect.

“Also, on the side of the Federal government, the federal government is also a suspect, the police is also controlled by the federal government. They give the final command from the FG to the Inspector General of Police to the commissioner of police.

“The police obey the last order, even if they are being killed and they want to get the order to act. Remember, they said they are looking for the people doing this, how come they saw them and they did not do anything to catch them.”

Speaking also, the traditional ruler of Ihim Autonomous Communities in Isiala Mbano local government area of Imo state, Eze Oliver Ohanwe, said: “There is need to call elders and monarchs respected in the land to head certain positions to be able to talk to people and they will listen and do the right thing. I advise both the state and federal government to choose those who are qualified and versatile to handle the issue of Community policing.”

The President of the Igbo National Council, Chilos Godsent, said: “We demand the immediate demotion, arrest and trial of all the heads of security agencies in Imo State for suspected conspiracy and lack of capacity to effectively protect Nigerians of South-East extraction.

“While we condemn the attacks in its totality, we also urge the Federal Government to destabilize the process of recruitment, training and promotion of the members of the Nigeria security operatives.”

In his own thinking, a Chieftain of the Imo state chapter of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, Vincent Amadi, said: “Assuming we give these attacks to the members of the Eastern Security Network, ESN. We know the fact that the Igbos are marginalized, lopsided in the federal appointments.

“Neglect of the youths of the Southeast region, killings of the young agitators, plot against the Igbos not to produce the next Nigeria president of Igbo extraction and the level of sufferings from bad leadership and many others are making the youths feel so bad.

However, Amadi said that, when the youths saw that these things were not given any attention, “They now call for freedom from bondage to have their own country. I have no reason to say the attacks on police stations and correctional facility are political.”

However, a top commander of the Eastern Security Network, ESN, who would not want his name mentioned told Vanguard in Owerri, that they were not behind the attacks on the Owerri Correctional centre and Police headquarters in the state.

His statement came days after the leader and founder of the Eastern Security Network, ESN, Nnamdi Kanu, denied any involvement in the attacks.

“My brother to tell you the truth we don’t know what happened, how it happened and those behind the attacks. Even as we speak we are confused. Nobody knows how this whole thing happened.

“When people say the ESN, carried out that attack it is not true. They carried out that attack for political reasons. They know those who did it and how it happened they should leave the ESN, members out of this whole thing.

“We are watching, if we carry out an attack you will know and it will be obvious that we did. So, for that one, it is politics that the politicians in that state are doing,” he said.

Vanguard News Nigeria