The Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Adamu has asked officers of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) not to hesitate in defending themselves by using firearms.
IGP Adamu stated this on Tuesday when he visited Imo state for an on-the-spot assessment after the attack on the command headquarters by gunmen on Monday.
The gunmen also attacked the Nigerian Correctional Services freeing an unspecified number of prison inmates.
Channels Television gathered that the attack occurred in the early hours of Monday after which the hoodlums set the facilities ablaze.
During the attack, one person suspected to be a fleeing inmate was hit by a bullet while carrying his travel bag.
The IGP while briefing men and officers of the command after his tour on the facility appeals to members of the public to provide security operatives with any useful information about the whereabouts of the fleeing inmates.
He also charges men and officers of the command not to hesitate to use their firearms to defend themselves from any attack by members of IPOB and ESN.
In a series of tweets earlier on Monday, the IGP condemned the attack and blamed it on members of IPOB and ESN.
He said that “preliminary investigations have revealed that the attackers, who came in their numbers with sophisticated weapons such as General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMGs), Sub-Machine Guns (SMGs), AK49 rifles, Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs), Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), are members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)/Eastern Security Network (ESN).
“The attempt by the attackers to gain access to the Police armoury at the Headquarters was totally and appropriately resisted by Police operatives on duty who repelled the attackers and prevented them from breaking in and looting the armoury. The armoury is thus intact! Similarly, the police suffered no human casualty, apart from a Police Constable who sustained a minor bullet wound on his shoulder”.
The IGP ordered the immediate deployment of additional units of Police Mobile Force (PMF) and other Police Tactical Squads to Imo State to strengthen security in the State and prevent further attacks on security formations or any other critical national infrastructure in the State.
He noted that one of the operational vehicles of the attackers have been recovered by the Police and is currently being subjected to forensic scrutiny and investigations.
The IGP however directed the Commissioner of Police, Imo State Command and a new Special Investigation Team (specifically set up to deal with cases of incessant attacks on security formation/operatives in the region), to carry out holistic investigations into the incident with a view to fishing out the perpetrators and bringing them to justice.