Inspector General of Police, Mr. Usman Baba, Tuesday in Enugu launched “Operation Restore Peace” in the South East.
The new security operation is to address rising insecurity and secessionist agitation in the zone.
“Operation Restore Peace” is part of government effort to address growing insecurity, attacks on security infrastructure and secessionist agitation in the zone.
Speaking at the launch in Enugu, Mr Usman Baba, said that the operation was necessitated by need to quell inter-ethnic intolerance and agitation by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
He said that, “violent agitation and associated crimes, particularly, those that endanger the lives, property and livelihood of the civil populace and threaten our national unity, peace and security in the form being currently noticed do not and can never represent our traditional values as a people.
“Unfortunately, the current armed campaign by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Eastern Security Network (ESN) is constituting a major threat not only to these values, but to our national security and peaceful co-existence as a nation.
“Indeed, the resort to terror tactics, disregard to constitutional processes and disrespect for democratic standards to advance their interests of creating an ungovernable space in the region informed the decision of the Federal Government to outlaw IPOB.
“In spite of this, and despite the concerted efforts of State Governors, revered traditional rulers, religious bodies and well-meaning personalities in the zone, the group continues to widen their armed insurrection and destabilising campaigns with fatal consequences.
“This they are doing without regard to the fact that no nation develops to its optimal potentials in an environment where constitutional governance and national harmony are threatened by violent insurrection as being championed by them.
“The key factor in addressing the prevailing security threats in the South East is that we should as a people, be determined to build a consensus, partner in condemning any act of criminality, and resolve to work with the Police and other security agencies towards identifying, isolating and bringing the criminal elements within our communities to deserved justice.
In his remark, the Governor of Enugu State, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi expressed optimism that the operation will lead to the retooling of security architecture in the South East.
“Todays event could not have come at a better time than now giving the point of insecurity in the country. In the past week, we have been saddened by the spate of killings of security operatives in their line of duty as well as destruction of security infrastructure as well as other public institutions in Nigeria especially in the South East.
“It is our expectations that today’s event will herald the rejiging and retooling of international security architecture in the South East geopolitical zone to bring it up to speed with emerging dimension of criminality.