Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba
• S’ East residents observe sit-at-home despite suspension
Inspector General of Police (IGP), Alkali Baba Usman, yesterday, urged the police to rise against all forms of criminalities, especially activities of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Alkali disclosed this in Asaba, while addressing men and officers of the Delta State police command. He was reacting to some of the challenges state Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Ari Bali, said were facing the command, including IPOB activities and attacks by herdsmen.
He said: “It is expected that whatever affects Anambra may likely affect Asaba, the state capital. There are spillovers of agitations or demonstrations from Onitsha to Asaba. That is why you need to get prepared to deal with any crime or criminality, to ensure they are brought to book. You need to brace up to IPOB challenges because it is a proscribed organisation and treat them as such.”
He advised officers to exhibit a high level of professionalism in the discharge of their duties, noting that while stop-and-search should be thorough, there must be, first, “a level of suspicion”.
Alkali did not respond on the problem of farmers/herders clashes in the state. Nevertheless, he commended the command for its efforts in fighting criminality in the state.
MEANWHILE, major roads and streets in Enugu State remained deserted, yesterday, as residents observed the sit-at-home order to press for the release of detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
The separatist group, which called for the action, two weeks ago, had backed down, last week, asking residents to go about their normal duties every Monday. Businesses and offices were, however, under lock and key yesterday morning.
As at 9:00 a.m., no bank, market, filling station, park or government office had opened in the state. Residents, who needed to move around, resorted to walking as commercial vehicles stayed off the roads.
Students of various schools, who had been scheduled to write examinations, couldn’t go ahead. At the Air Force Primary School, for instance, the school authority reached out to parents on phone, urging them to pick up their wards, as the examination couldn’t commence by 9:00 a.m.
A worker in one of the old generation banks told The Guardian: “I think I should go back home. My bosses are not giving any hope that we will open. Everyone is living in fear. They are saying, ‘open at your peril’. So, instead of standing here, let me go.”
On Monday, last week, businesses that opened were forced to close after reports emerged that certain persons were attacking the Gariki market.
Residents in Owerri, the Imo State capital, also stayed indoors. Most traders, who spoke to The Guardian, said they were afraid to leave their homes because some people who did so previously were either killed or maimed.
Many residents in Awka, Onitsha and Nnewi, all in Anambra State, also stayed indoors, even as security personnel were seen patrolling the streets.
Business activities were also crippled in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, as motor parks, fuel stations, major shopping stores and banks remained shut.