After members of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) clashed with military personnel in Abia State, Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Kpotun visits the state to evaluate the damage and smoothen relations among communities, SUNNY NWANKWO writes
Since the clash two weeks ago, prominent figures have been visiting Abia State with peace on their minds. Northern state governors were the first to show up, thanking Governor Okezie Ikpeazu and his Southeast governors for their role in quelling the crisis with members of Indigenous People of Biafra or IPOB, and appealing to northern residents to follow the path of peace.
The state Commissioner of Police, Anthony Ogbizi and Assistant Inspector General of Police in-charge of Operations, Police Force Headquarters, Taiwo Lakanu also played a huge role in curtailing the crisis. Lakanu led about 500 mobile policemen to the state in the heat of the crisis.
Heads of security agencies in the country have visited too, all playing a part in saving the country an unnecessary catastrophe.
The Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Kpotun was the latest to take his turn. He was scheduled to visit the burnt Ariaria Police Station and Onions market along Aba-Port Harcourt Expressway. The IGP was also billed to meet with Yoruba and Hausa communities in Aba, the commercial and enterprise hub of the state.
Though the IGP failed to come to Aba which, The Nation gathered, was as a result of delayed flight owing to bad weather, he posthumously promoted Cyril Nwosu, the station officer of Ariaria police station who later died from wounds sustained when suspected IPOB members invaded the station. The late Nwosu is now Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP).
The IGP also held a town-hall meeting with traditional rulers and major stakeholders in the state at the Michael Okpara Auditorium where he stated that Nigeria would function better when united, adding that it was the responsibility of every Nigerian to ensure that there was tolerance and unity among the ethnic groups in the country.
The police chief assured that the force through its personnel would do everything possible to ensure that peace was sustained in the state and across the country at all times.
He said, “We have seen a lot of changes, the happiness on the faces of people. I believe that Nigeria will grow stronger and I have faith in the unity of this country. We see the police force as enablers that can help us drive growth in all aspects of our economic growth in Nigeria. We believe firmly that unless there is security we cannot grow or prosper.
“History is replete with countries that try to break away and come back also. So I want you to continue with your work. Beyond the recession, Nigeria is trying to create a foothold by attracting direct foreign investment, so we need to have security.”
Also speaking at the interactive session with Abia traditional rulers and members of Hausa and Yoruba communities at the Michael Okpara Auditorium later, Governor Ikpeazu assured that Abia is a very peaceful state and would remain so despite the ugly incidents that broke out in the state.
“We reaffirm our faith in one Nigeria,” he said.
Ikpeazu who commended the IGP for visiting the state, also used the opportunity as the chief marketer of made in Aba goods, to presented the IGP with some home-made products at the Government House.
The IGP was accompanied on the visit by the Assistant inspector General of Police (AIG) Zone 9 Umuahia, Hosea Karma, the state Commissioner of Police, Anthony Ogbizi and his Imo State counterpart, Chris Ezike, among other senior police officers.