The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu has ordered police operatives to be ruthless against members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its Eastern Security Network (ESN).
Adamu gave the order on Tuesday when he visited Imo state, following an attack on police facilities in Owerri, the state capital in the early hours of Monday, by gunmen.
Addressing police officers after inspecting the damage from the attack, the IGP said there is “no hiding place” for the IPOB members.
“Thos that were released by the attackers, I have been told, some of them belong to the IPOB group; the proscribed IPOB group,” he said.
“We are sending this message to them that there will be no hiding place. They will be re-arrested and many more of the criminals within that group will be arrested.”
Adamu said police officers must use their weapons against the IPOB members and crush them to the last man.
The police had earlier accused IPOB and ESN of being behind the attack and similar ones in the region, but the separatist group in a statement on Monday by Emma Powerful, its spokesman, denied any involvement in the attacks.
IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, had in December 2020 launched ESN to protect the people of South-East and South-South regions from terrorists and bandits allegedly trooping in from the North.
The IPOB leader described the outfit as a replica of the Western Nigeria Security Network, also known as Amotekun, earlier launched by the South-West governors to curb insecurity in the region.
“The sole aim and objective of this newly formed security outfit known as Eastern Security Network are to halt every criminal activity and the terrorist attack on Biafraland,” Kanu had said.
“This outfit, which is a vigilante group like the Amotekun in the South-West and the Miyetti Allah security outfit, will ensure the safety of our forests and farmland, which terrorists have converted into slaughter grounds and raping fields