Vice President Yemi Osinbajo Thursday had a close-door with the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, over the crisis between security agencies and members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Abia state and some parts of Rivers state.
Speaking to State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, the IGP said the meeting centered around ensuring that “our provision of security in the country is intact.”
Asked to be specific about strategies the police was adopting in respect of the agitations and events in the south east, the IGP said all critical stakeholders including governors were being engaged to find lasting peace in the area.
“Obviously one is to deploy policemen across the country, two we are in touch with the state governments, trying to mobilize the political leadership to be able to intervene where necessary on how to lessen the tension in the south east,” he said.
The IGP dismissed statement credited to Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state that the reported killing of an operative of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) during a foiled kidnap operation on Monday at Oroazi area of the state was a confirmation that policemen were involved in armed robbery and kidnapping.
“He (Wike) has right to self expression. You know he is a governor. Of course I have to deny that, that is nonsense. I have to deny that. If a policeman was killed will you say he was involved in crime?
“I think you are mixing two different issues. A policeman was killed in Rivers in connection with this IPOB issue, is different from saying policemen are involved in crime. You cannot say someone that was attacked and killed is the one involved in crime,” he said.
When reminded that the governor alleged that the dead policeman was one of the three men that were suspected to be members of SARS who were attempting to kidnap someone, the IGP replied: “Who is the person they were attempting to kidnap? I just want you to read between the lines. If you have leaders making sweeping allegations obviously it does not make sense. I don’t want to comment on it.”
Asked what preparation were on ground ahead of October 1 in view of the tension across the country, the IGP said “I don’t think there is tension in the country. Which country this Nigeria? No. Nigeria does not have tension. At least you are in Abuja you have gone around there is no tension.”