A Pan-Igbo sociocultural group, Nzuko Umuna, has condemned the attack on the Imo State Police Command Headquarters and Nigeria Custodial Centre, both in Owerri, Imo State.
In a statement jointly signed by its Secretary-General, Dr. Paschal Mbanefo, and Coordinator, Ngozi Odumuko, the group commended the prompt directive by President Muhammadu Buhari to all security and intelligence agencies to arrest and prosecute the attackers, as well as the restraint displayed by the acting Controller-General of Corrections, John Mrabure, in his preliminary report on the incident.
It, however, described as hasty the statement by the immediate past Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, that the attackers were members of the Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network.
It noted that the police chief himself had listed several sophisticated weapons deployed by the attackers, including General Purpose Machine Guns, Sub-Machine Guns, AK-49 rifles, Rocket Propelled Grenades and Improvised Explosive Devices.
The level of sophistication of these arms and ammunitions, it said, calls for a more holistic and dispassionate forensic investigation in line with global best practices “and devoid of name-calling or scapegoating.”
“Accordingly, we call on the acting Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Usman Alkali Baba, to adopt an entirely different, inclusive and sustainable approach in tackling the security challenges to ensure that government unearths the real masterminds of these wanton attacks and meets its primary duty of securing lives and property in the South-East and Nigeria generally,” the statement read.
It also stressed that an in-depth investigation had become imperative as there are speculations that there may have been security lapses leading to near-absence of resistance from multiple security entities in the heavily fortified area.
“Nzuko Umunna is worried at the seeming tardiness in investigation of the Ebonyi killings, and urges the Inspector-General of Police to display the same level of speed and commitment shown in his preliminary assessment of the Owerri attacks in unraveling the masterminds of the killings,” it added.
The group called on the Federal Government to rejig its security architecture in order to arrest the country’s fast descent into anarchy.
It also called on the South-East Governors Forum and the state Houses of Assembly to immediately revisit the popular quest for a regional security framework towards safeguarding the citizens against bandits, kidnappers and killer herdsmen.