Posted by By Anayo Okoli & Tony Edike on
AWKA– GOVERNOR Peter Obi of Anambra State yesterday extended the dusk to dawn curfew he imposed on Onitsha to six neighbouring communities: Ogidi, Nsugbe, Ogboko, Ogbaru, Nkpor and Obosi, even as he has summoned a stakeholders' meeting for today.....
AWKA– GOVERNOR Peter Obi of Anambra State yesterday extended the dusk to dawn curfew he imposed on Onitsha to six neighbouring communities: Ogidi, Nsugbe, Ogboko, Ogbaru, Nkpor and Obosi, even as he has summoned a stakeholders' meeting for today to find a lasting solution to the violence that engulfed the commercial city in the last few days.
Besides, senior army and police officers yesterday met in Enugu to review the security situation in Onitsha, and resolved to sustain the tempo of their operations with a view to restoring peace. At the meeting were the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mike Okiro, and the General Officer Commanding 82 Division of the Army represented by Colonel John Ochoga.
Col. Ochoga told the police team that the military was participating fully in the Onitsha operation and the result was positive.
In his remarks, DIG Okiro said the violence in Onitsha was unfortunate in view of its negative impact on the nation’s economy and image. He commended the conduct of the joint operation so far, saying it was a classic example of an effective action to guarantee security. Okiro said the Army would always be joint stakeholders in peace and security.
Condemning the activities of the hoodlums and their collaborators, the DIG said: “The problem does not augur well for the well-being of the people of the state and the nation in general.” Okiro said he would continue consultations with stakeholders to enhance security in the area.
The DIG who was accompanied by the Assistant Inspector General of Police for Zone 2, Mr. Ademola Ajakaiye, Enugu State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Charles Dawodu, and his Anambra State counterpart, also praised the existing cordial relationship between the Army and Police in the states within the 82 Division’s jurisdiction.
The violence in the town took a dangerous turn on Sunday when the hoodlums attacked the Onitsha Prisons and set over 240 inmates free.
Meanwhile, Acting Comptroller General of Nigeria Prisons, Mr. Okwara Uche Kalu, yesterday expressed disappointment over the attitude of the security guards at the Onitsha Prisons when it was invaded on Sunday morning and over run by hoodlums. He said he did not rule out collusion between the security guards and the hoodlums. Fourteen of the 240 freed prison inmates have returned.
Mr Kalu’s position was prompted by information offered by returnee inmates that 20 armed security guards made up of 16 Mobile Policemen and four prisons securities personnel were on duty when only nine hoodlums came and over-ran the prison and released the inmates. The security officers allegedly took to their heels.
Mr. Okwara wondered why they (guards) could not confront only nine hoodlums. According to the acting comptroller, with the attitude exhibited by the officers, it should not surprise anyone, if after investigation, it was discovered that the officers colluded with the hoodlums to set the criminals free.
He, however, warned that if any case of collusion was established, the officer involved would be punished. He wondered why the security guards could not muster courage to face only nine hoodlums.
Though Uche-Kalu noted that the Prison lacked personnel, he said the Federal Government had done a lot to improve the welfare of the prisons workers to make their work easier.
Uche-Kalu who was accompanied to Onitsha Prisons by the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Force CID, Mr. Ogbonnna Onovo, was bitter over what he met at the prison and promised to commence investigation immediately.
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