The police in Abia State have appealed to residents not to panic as security agencies embark on joint patrols involving aerial and land surveillance.
Describing the exercise as a Show of Strength the Commissioner of Police (CP), Mr Adeleye Oyebade, reassured the citizenry that their fundamental human rights will be jealously guarded as explicitly entrenched in the Nigerian Constitution.
According to a statement signed by the state police spokesman, DSP Geoffrey Ogbonna, the CP urged residents to go about their lawful businesses without entertaining any fear of molestation.
The statement reads in part: “The aerial and land surveillance being experienced is part of the Command’s Security arrangements structured to upgrade her security network.
“The Police in collaboration with other sister security agencies, in the state, have crime mapped the state. “The joint patrols involving all the security agencies (Show of Strength) covers the nooks and crannies of the State. All these are aimed at providing adequate security of lives and property for all and sundry.”
The police, however, warned members of two secessionist movements – the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) not to go against the law of the land.
Addressing reporters in Abia, Oyebade said: “We live in a Sovereignty called the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and there cannot be a Republic within a Republic.
“Thus, in our re-nascent Democracy, we are all guided and guarded by one Constitution. Even though it guarantees certain fundamental Human Rights which include freedom of association, freedom of movement, freedom of expression etc; these must be observed within the confines and provisions of the law itself, without infringing on the rights of others.
“It is naturally expected that nobody should take laws into his/her own hands as to coarse other law abiding citizens into a demonstration under any guise. “Specifically, IPOB, MASSOB and other associations thinking along that line are better warned because doing otherwise shall be met with the full weight of the law.
“The Abia State Police Command enjoined all law abiding and peace loving citizens of the State and residents to go about their lawful businesses without fear of molestation from any quarters. The Security architecture put in place by the Command is such that will continue to protect the lives and property of the citizenry, please.”