Police Rule out IPOB ‘Sit-at-Home’ in Delta
Delta State Police Command has advised residents in the state to ignore rumours of the planned armed attack by a faceless group masquerading as members of the outlawed Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) charged with implementing the so-called sit-at-home order introduced in the South-east states by Biafran secessionists
The Delta State Commissioner of Police, Ari Mohammed Ari, gave the advice yesterday in reaction to reported threat by a group of self-styled gunmen to attack Asaba and other parts of state especially in Delta North senatorial district.
Speaking through the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Bright Edafe, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), the commissioner assured residents of the readiness of the police to ward off any confrontation from illegal groups and hoodlums.
There was fairly heavy security purposes presence at strategic points in Asaba, the state capital and environs on Monday but life was apparently normal as both public and private offices and business outlets were open and people were seen going about their usual businesses till the close of offices and many businesses at about 6.30pm on Monday.
Groups of soldiers joined detachment of policemen on surveillance around the DBS Road/Maryam Babangida Road, Anwai Road and the Nnebisi Road, which was its usual beehive with the Ogb’ogonogo Market in full swing and the Kowen Plaza area experiencing heavy traffic Okpanam Road was also busy with vehicular and human traffic while the police opened both lanes of the road to traffic, for the first time in about a year, in front of the State Police Command Headquarters.
The story was the same in Okpanam, Ibusa, Ogwashi-Uku and other neighboring areas of the state capital territory, with shops and others businesses in full session throughout the day.
Earlier, the state police spokesman, while acknowledging receipt of information about the threat by suspected IPOB members to extend the forceful implementation of the illegal sit-at-home directive to DeIta State, called the bluff of the group and urged people to go about their lawful businesses without fear of molestation whatsoever.
“The attention of Delta State Police Command has been drawn to a Facebook post by some faceless individuals with the caption ‘Unknown gunmen Asaba Delta State sends strong message’, in which Asaba residents were warned to observe the ‘Sit-at-home order’ as declared by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
“For the purpose of clarity, the Delta State Commissioner of Police CP Ari Muhammed Ali, has declared that there is no “sit at home order” in the state. He assures residents of their safety and urges them to go about their lawful business(es) as the Command is willing and able to deal decisively with anyone or group of persons who try to cause any form of trouble in the State.
“He, however, advises members of the public particularly residents of Asaba and the entire Delta North district to remain vigilant, monitor and report any strange and suspicious movements or persons in their neighborhood to the Command or other law enforcement agencies.”
Meanwhile, the police spokesman said that CP Ali “has placed officers and men of the command on red alert and urged them to remain watchful and deal decisively with anyone or group of persons attempting to cause any form of mayhem in the State.
“He has further directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police Operations, Area Commanders, DPOS, and Tactical Commanders to maintain Police visibility across the length and breadth of the State and emplace measures that will make the State uncomfortable and uninhabitable for any group of hoodlums.”
The command further urged law-abiding citizens to contact the police through several phone lines to give useful information, including the office of the PPRO’s Office (on +234 915 557 0008, +234 915 557 0007) or the Command Control Room (via +234 803 668 4974).
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has repeatedly said that the activities of IPOB and secessionist groups were not welcome in Delta State as the state is not part of the Biafran agitation, which has greatly hampered social and economic activities in the South-East especially with the frequent stay-home orders supposedly from IPOB