The Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Adamu, has charged officers of the Police Command in Imo not to give up on the fight against banditry, stating that the fight was non-negotiable.
The IGP gave the charge in Owerri on Tuesday while inspecting the command’s headquarters, following an attack on the facility by unknown gunmen on Monday.
Mr Adamu who advised the officers to synergise with other security agencies, said more tactical personnel had already been deployed to the state to further curtail banditry.
“Bandits will never succeed, never spare them. Deal with them ruthlessly. Unleash your full arsenal on them. The law is behind you.
“We must work together with all stakeholders to fish out criminals and their hideouts. We have increased the number of units that we have and we have sent more tactical personnel,” he said.
He urged the public to support the force with relevant information on whereabouts of criminals, adding that those who hid criminals would one day become their victims.
Earlier in his address, the Commissioner of Police in Imo, CP Nasiru Mohammed, thanked the IGP for promptly deploying additional personnel and described the visit as a morale booster.
He said 36 vehicles were burnt during the attack with 68 suspects escaping from detention cells.
He regretted recent attacks on the command’s divisions in Obowo and Isiala Mbano Local Government Areas of the state and called for continued support from the IGP.
“We are grateful for the IGP’s fatherly disposition and his prompt action following the attacks.
“36 vehicles were burnt and 68 suspects escaped from detention. A part of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) was set ablaze and there was one casualty who is currently receiving treatment.
“One inmate lost his life from stampede at the correctional centre. Out of 1,844 inmates who escaped, 16 have been rearrested,” he said.
Speaking, Gov. Hope Uzodinma, said the state government would continue to complement efforts of the police in fighting crime and described the IGP’s visit as a healing balm.
“We must not condone attacks by criminals on government. Police must not be compromised so that the integrity of government will remain intact,” the governor said.
IGP was accompanied on the visit by the Minister of State for Mines and Steel, Uche Ogah and a House of Representatives member from Imo, Mariam Onuoha.