The Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma, has condemned in strong terms the attack by gunmen at the Police Command Headquarters and the Correctional Service Centre in Owerri, describing it as “barbaric”.
Uzodimma expressed his displeasure after the State Security Council meeting at the Government House, Owerri on Monday, where he assessed the level of damages.
The governor, who had earlier visited the two facilities in the company of heads of security agencies in the state, said the attack was to instil fear and make the people more vulnerable.
He said government had set up an enquiry panel into the incident with a view to finding out the circumstances surrounding the attack.
He said government and security agencies would definitely get to the root of the matter to fish out the perpetrators.
Uzodimma assured residents of the state of their safety noting that government and security agencies would be more proactive to forestall a reoccurrence.
He disclosed that more than 1,800 inmates were at the correctional service before they were freed by the gunmen, adding that some of them had started returning voluntarily while others had been rearrested.
He said: “It has been an eventful day today being Easter Monday in Imo as yet to be ascertained gunmen attacked the correctional service centre, setting some facilities ablaze and releasing some inmates.
“The gunmen were at the police headquarters where they destroyed 38 vehicles and also set the facilities ablaze.
“Efforts by the gunmen to penetrate into the Imo State Government House were not successful as they ended up shooting sporadically at the entrance gate.”
According to the governor, a detailed investigation would be carried out and the perpetrators would be brought to justice.
However, normalcy has returned to the state while residents have been going about their normal businesses.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that major roads leading to the correctional service and Police headquarters in Owerri had been cordoned off and traffic diverted since the early hours of Monday.
It will be recalled that in less than two months, five divisional police headquarters have been attacked at various locations in Imo State by yet to be identified gunmen.