The Nigerian police authorities have increased the deployment of operatives in the South-East and South-South state to ensure the safety of Nigerians resident there.
Force Public Relations Officer, Mr Jimoh Moshood, said this on Thursday during an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
“We have increased our deployment to Abia State and equally all the South-East and South-South states to ensure that Nigerians are allowed to go about their business without any hindrance and without any fear or apprehension,” Mr Moshood said.
The Force PRO, however, declined to give more details about the number of personnel the police have deployed or are planning to deploy to the area.
“It won’t be appropriate to begin to tell you that this is the actual number,” he said.
His comments came some hours after the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, spoke with journalists about the approach the police had adopted to deal with growing tension and violence in parts of Abia.
“We are trying to mobilise the political leadership to be able to intervene where necessary in reducing the tension that is already taking place in the South-East,” the IGP told State House Correspondents after a meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa.
Tension in Abia increased in the early hours of Thursday, after a mob attacked a police station at Ariaria International Market in Aba and set it ablaze.
Moshood who said no life was lost in the incident explained that an investigation had been opened to get to the root of the attack.
He assured the indigenes of the South East and Nigerians resident there that the police would continue to protect them and the necessary deployment of personnel has been done for that purpose.
“Outside that, we want to implore the traditional rulers and opinion leaders and religious leaders to prevail on them (those behind disturbances) to see reason why they should give peace a chance because whatsoever is the eventuality of causing disturbances in public places will not pay anybody,” Moshood added.
According to him, normalcy has been restored in the state and people are going about their business without hindrance except in Aba where the police are enforcing a dusk-to-dawn curfew imposed by Governor Okezie Ikpeaze on Wednesday.
A new commissioner of police, Anthony Ogbizi, assumed duty at the Abia State Police Command on Thursday amid increased the increased tension in the state.
Mr Moshood, however, said the decision had been taken much earlier and that the change of guard shouldn’t be a source of concern or debate.
“The change has been effected even far, far before now. It is to bring new impetus to crime control and prevention in that area,” he said.
To achieve their objective and ensure the protection of life and property, the police are working with other security agencies there.
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