*It’s terrorists’ attacks -Buhari
*HURIWA alleges foul play
By Williams Orji, Chesa Chesa Everest Ezihe
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has vehemently denied that its security outfit, Eastern Security Network (ESN), was responsible for the attack on the Imo State police headquarters and the Nigeria Correctional Centre both in Owerri, the state capital on Monday.
IPOB spokesman, Emma Powerful, in a statement on Monday insisted that ESN and IPOB were focused on chasing Fulani herdsmen away from South East forests.
Said the statement: “ESN is in the bush chasing Fulani terrorists. Why linking IPOB and ESN to this attack? IPOB and ESN were not involved in the attack in Owerri, Imo State and the recent attack on Onitsha Owerri Road at Ukwuorji junction.
“It is not our mandate to attack security personnel or prison facilities.
“The Nigeria Government and her compromised media outfits should stop linking IPOB and ESN to the multiple attacks going on in Nigeria now.
“IPOB was formed on the principle of peace and we are still in it. Unknown gunmen is a different people which we don’t know them and they are not IPOB or ESN security outfit,” the statement read.
Attacks handiwork of terrorists, says Buhari
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the deadly insurgent attacks that took place on the Police Command Headquarters and the Correctional Facility both in Owerri, Imo State, on Monday, calling them acts of Terrorism.
In his reaction to the incident early on Monday, President Buhari praised the initial response by security guards and security forces for preventing greater loss of life and the destruction of public property.
The President directed security and intelligence agencies in the state and the geo-political zone to fully mobilize and go after the terrorists, apprehend them and get them punished under the full weight of the law.
He also called for the best efforts to be made to re-arrest fleeing prison inmates many of whom are believed to be deadly criminals.
President Buhari then appealed to members of the public to assist the law enforcement agencies with any relevant information that could lead to the apprehension of these criminals who perpetrated these despicable acts.
He also urged members of the public to be vigilant as all of us have a stake in preserving our way of life from disruption by terrorists and anarchists while the Federal Government will use every available tool at its disposal to confront and terminate this bare-faced anarchy.
IGP orders crackdown on IPOB, ESN
However, the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu has blamed members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and their affiliate security outfit, the Eastern Security Network (ESN) for the attacks in Imo.
Consequently, Adamu has ordered the deployment of additional units of Police Mobile Force (PMF) and other Police tactical squads to the State to strengthen security.
Imo State Police Command Headquarters and the Headquarters of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCS) in Owerri were bombed on Monday.
Force spokesman, Frank Mba, revealed that the attackers used sophisticated weapons such as General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMGs), Sub-Machine Guns (SMGs), AK-49 rifles, Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs), Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
According to him, the attackers attempt to gain access to the Police armoury at the Headquarters was resisted by Police operatives on duty.
Mba confirmed the safe was intact and that the Police suffered no human casualty, apart from a Police Constable who sustained a minor bullet wound on his shoulder.
One of the operational vehicles of the attackers has been recovered by the Police and is currently being subjected to forensic scrutiny and investigations.
The Imo CP has been ordered to harness the security reinforcement squads and other operational assets at his disposal to take the battle to the doorsteps of the attackers and prevent any further attack anywhere within the state and its environs.
The IGP called on citizens to avail the Police and other security agencies with useful information that can assist in identifying and arresting the criminals.
He vowed that the perpetrators will be brought to book and assured that the Force is doing all within its powers to curb the activities of unscrupulous elements hell-bent on threatening the unity and safety of Nigerians.
Buhari’s presidency may cause Nigeria’s breakup – Aisha Yesufu
Mrs Aisha Yesufu, Nigeria’s popular activist has sounded the alarm that the country is at the verge of disintegration.
Yesufu said comments from the President Muhammadu Buhari-led presidency may lead to Nigeria’s breakup.
The co-convener of BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) advocacy group stressed that Nigerians have reached the stage they need to discuss about the country’s unity.
In a tweet on Monday, Yesufu wrote: “The nuisance value that might come from this Buhari presidency might well be the separation of Nigeria.
“It is glaring that Nigeria needs to have a conversation on whether to remain as one or go its separate ways. I am okay with seeking for visa to Kano, Lagos and Enugu.”
Her remark is coming few days after Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo had said Nigerians would require Visa to reach some parts of the present Nigeria if the country breaks up.
The Vice President stated this during the 69th birthday of Bola Tinubu, the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
HURIWA suspects foul play, charges Buhari, Governors
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari and Governors of the South East to set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate the spate of coordinated attacks on strategic national security assets and killings of security agents including the recent violent attack on the Federal Correction Centre and the police facilities in Owerri, the Imo State capital.
HURIWA urged Buhari and the governors to ensure that the panel unravels those behind such attacks and ensure they are punished.
Some gunmen on Monday morning attacked the Owerri Correctional Prison and freed over 1500 inmates just as the attackers also reportedly torched the Imo State Police Command headquarters situated in Owerri and burnt almost all the vehicles parked at the command headquarters.
The gunmen who reportedly operated from 1am to 3am, freed suspects in almost all the cells at the State Criminal Investigation Department of the command.
Reacting, the frontline rights advocacy group said there was the need for a thorough forensic and judicial investigation of the attacks in Owerri alongside other associated violent attacks with deadly consequences targeting mostly uniformed members of the security forces and strategic national security assets.
In a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, the rights group alleged that the attacks in the Southeast were “choreographed and formidably coordinated by some external forces working with some internal forces who are in a frenzy to ignite and instigate the collapse of security and economic stability of the Igbo-speaking region.”
The statement reads: “These attackers had a free run for a long period of time without interference or counter-attacks.
“There is more to it than meets the eyes. We think this is an unusual occurrence that must be confronted by all means necessary. This regime of the unruly gunmen sponsored by God knows who, must never be allowed to blossom and take roots in the South East of Nigeria or anywhere in the South of Nigeria which have remained relatively peaceful even amid terrorism and armed banditry in much of Northern Nigeria.
“We call on the Governments of all the States in the South East and the crude oil rich states of the Niger Delta to meet immediately and convoke a security summit to investigate the sources of these premeditated attacks. We call for the setting up a high-powered judicial panel of investigators to immediately work to uncover the remote, immediate and possible causes and sponsors of these attacks which we believe are sponsored by some forces working towards destroying the peace of the South East of Nigeria.”
Resign now that you are in trouble – Biafra group tells Gov Uzodinma
Biafra Nations League, BNL has asked the Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma to resign immediately following the attacks on the state police headquarters and the correctional centre.
The group said that the Governor found himself in the current situation after he invited the military to attack members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Eastern Security Network, ESN.
Princewill Chimezie Richard, National Leader of the BNL made the claim while addressing newsmen in Owerri, the capital of Imo State on Monday.
According to him, many prisoners languishing in the correctional centres are innocent of the offences they were accused of.
He accused the police of congesting the correctional Centre without charging suspects to court, adding that the group will not condemn the attack.
The group called on the Governor of the State, Hope Uzodinma to “resign for peace to reign” in the State.
“Uzodinma entered trouble when he invited the military to Orlu to massacre innocent people in the name of searching for IPOB/ESN”, the Group further alleged.