By Kazeem Ugbodaga
The Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba on Tuesday ordered the new special operational action plan, code-named, “Operation Restore Peace” to crush members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and other secessionist groups in the South East.
Baba officially launched Operation RP on Tuesday for the stabilization of security order in the South-East Geopolitical Zone of the country.
The IGP launched the special operation 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.
Baba 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.
The IGP observed that activities of the group in the region had 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,” he said.
Baba assured the nation that in the coming days the special operation would be extended to other parts of the South-East region to confront criminal elements, take the battle to their doorsteps and re-order cherished national values in the region.
The IGP further said that the “Operation RP” would 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,” he said.
Governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, commended the IGP for initiating the special operation.
He described the operation as timely, and believed it would 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, among others.