By Festus Fifen
With the recent unrest and attacks on Police Formations in the south-Eastern part of Nigeria, The Nigeria Inspector-General of Police, Ag. IGP Usman Alkali Baba, has flagged-off a new special operational action plan code-named “OPERATION RP” for the stabilization of security order in the South-East Geopolitical Zone of the country.
A statement by the Force Public Relations Officer CP Frank Mba, says the IGP launched the special operation, 18 May, 2021 at the Michael Okpara Square, Enugu as part of efforts targeted at returning the South-Eastern region to its historical pride of place where its people are known to be peaceful, tolerant, innovative, industrious and entrepreneurial.
The IGP noted that the special operation has become necessary to engender all-inclusive security actions to roll-back the murderous attacks, violence, proliferation of weapons and other threats to law and order occasioned by the separatist agenda being heightened by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its armed wing, the Eastern Security Network (ESN) in the South-East region.
According to the statement, The IGP observed that activities of the group in the region have assumed an armed dimension in which important political and community leaders as well as personnel and assets of the Nigeria Police, Military and other security agencies, critical national infrastructure are being constantly targeted in clearly well-coordinated, premeditated manners. This is in addition to deepening inter-ethnic prejudice and intolerance, unjustifiable inter-ethnic violence and counter-violence, loss of lives and massive destruction of properties.
The IGP, while appreciating the individual and collective efforts of all the South-East Governors and other critical stakeholders in the region towards supporting the Police in restoring security and strengthening national unity, assured the nation, that in the coming days the special operation will be extended to other parts of the South-East region to confront criminal elements, take the battle to their doorsteps and re-order our cherished national values in the region. The IGP further noted that the “Operation RP” will be replicated in other parts of the country, to address peculiar crimes including banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery, cultism, amongst others.
The ‘Operation’ will be carried out by operatives of the Force in collaboration with the Armed Forces, the intelligence community and other sister security agencies. The personnel deployed have been charged to be civil with the law-abiding citizens, but firm and ruthless with criminal elements operating under any guise whatsoever who may attempt to test the collective will of the people.
In his remarks, the host Governor, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, commended the IGP for initiating the special operation. He described the operation as timely, and believes it will help in rejigging and re-tooling the security architecture of the South-East. Other dignitaries at the event are; the Deputy Governors of Abia, Ebonyi and Imo States, traditional rulers, religious leaders, amongst others.
Meanwhile, the IGP thanked the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces for approving the special operation and providing the support needed to fully achieve the objects of the special operation. He solicits the full support of the civil populace, particularly, traditional rulers, religious leaders, youth associations, market bodies, cultural associations and professionals etc, expressing his belief that with the support of all strategic stakeholders, the operation will in due course, change the current security narratives in the South-Eastern region for good.
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