Ebonyi State governor, Dave Umahi, has absolved the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) of culpability in attacks on police facilities in the South East, noting that the attacks are being carried out by criminals whose key motivation is criminality.
There have been attacks on police stations in various states of the South East, which the police had blamed on the IPOB.
However, speaking on Channels TV breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily on Thursday, Umahi said the separatist group is not responsible for the attacks.
The governor who noted that about 95 percent of police officers killed during the attacks are people from the South East, said criminals who carry out the attacks only tag themselves IPOB to play into the prosecution of the group by the federal government.
“What is happening now is that some criminals will go and commit crime and say they are IPOB so that they will play into the prosecution of IPOB by the federal government,” Umahi said.
“IPOB have said that they are not responsible for the attacks on police stations. They have said they are not into terrorism, banditry or criminality.
“The other day in Ebonyi State, the criminals attacked a police station and carted away arms. The next day, they went to rob with the arms, and fortunately they were caught. So, these are just criminals carrying out these stray.”
Umahi, however, condemned the separatist group for threatening to attack any member of Ebube Agu, a new security outfit launched by the South East governors, caught spying on them, while assuring that the core responsibility of Ebube Agu is to provide security to the people of South East and not to spy on anyone.
“The statement by IPOB is unfortunate,” Umahi said. “But we are not forming Ebube Agu to spy on them. Why would we spy on them? We are not intending to spy on them.”
Umahi who is also the chairman of South East governors forum, argued that the time has come for the federal government to support the creation of state police, as according to him, that is the most effective way of tackling growing insecurity in the country.
“The security situation in the country right now calls for state police. The concept of state police is that they will come from among the people, and will therefore be better equipped to take care of insecurity in the communities,” Umahi said.
“State police police will take care of these bandits, and these self styled security agencies. So, I think the time has come for the federal government to give in to the demand for state police.”