The force directed its men not to accompany their principals to Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, and Rivers States until the security situation improved in the areas.
The directive was contained in a wireless message with reference CB: 0900/DTS/DOPS/VOL.47/812X, titled, ‘Attack on policemen, snatching of rifles by IPOB,’ issued by the Commissioner of Police, Asaba, Delta State.
The signal was copied to the Chief Security Officer, Government House, Chief Superintendent of Police, Department of Operations, Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, Delta State House of Assembly, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation annex, among others.
The wireless message read, “Sequel to the incessant attacks on policemen and snatching of arms and ammunition by the proscribed IPOB/ESN (Eastern Security Network) elements in the eastern states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo and Rivers, COMPOL DOPS directs you warn personnel that escort of their principals to the six eastern states is suspended forthwith until security situation improves. Ensure strict compliance, please.’’
Since December 2020, no fewer than 12 police stations have been set ablaze while over 40 security personnel were killed by gunmen and scores of firearms stolen in the wave of attacks on security formations in the South-East and South-South regions.
The force spokesman, Frank Mba, noted that the police order was legitimate noting that the command’s Commissioner of Police had the prerogative to optimise his men for the protection of the public and infrastructure.
He stated, ‘’If unknown gunmen as you people normally put it, numbering like 12 or 20 launch an attack on an escort of two men, surely they will overwhelm them because they will outnumber you and outgun you. This is the issue the directive was trying to cure.’’
Meanwhile, the acting Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, has ordered a nationwide deployment of police officers and other operational assets for water-tight security ahead of the 2021 Eid-el-Fitr celebration and beyond.
The IGP’s order was contained in a directive to Assistant Inspectors-General of Police, Commissioners of Police and other strategic commanders of the Force as part of efforts toward stabilizing security, improving public safety and making the country a safer place for all citizens.