Ikpeazu condemns killing of police officer, steps in to end mass arrest in Aba

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From Boniface Okoro, Umuahia

Abia State governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has strongly condemned the killing of a Police personnel at Ndiegoro community in Aba, even as he has waded in to end the reported ongoing mass arrest of people in the area by Police operatives.

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Though Ikpeazu expressed deep concern over the reported mass arrest of citizens of Ndiegoro, the Police authorities in Abia has denied knowledge of any such arrests but said it was unhappy over the killing of its personnel.

Last week, a clash between the Police operatives said to be raiding suspected black spots in Ndiegoro, a suburb of Aba, and hoodlums, reportedly left a Police Inspector dead, just as two of the gunmen were neutralised. Following the killing of its personnel, the Police is alleged to have embarked on mass arrest of citizens at Ndiegoro.

However, Ikpeazu, who has promised to restore normalcy to the area, according to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sir Onyebuchi Ememanka, assured that those who killed the Police Officer must be brought to book.

The Governor noted that the peace being enjoyed in the state was attributable to the sacrifices of the various security agencies, adding that it was preposterous and unacceptable that officers who strive day and night for the safety of the people would receive any form of hostility from the citizens.

The statement by Ememanka issued on Sunday, 22nd January, 2023, reads: “The Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has noted with deep concern the mass arrests of citizens around the Ndiegoro area of Aba by officers of the Nigeria Police, as a result of the alleged killing of some policemen around the area. 

“The Governor condemns in its totality, any act of hostility against any security agent anywhere in Abia State, let alone the killing of a Police officer under any guise whatsoever. The peace and security we all enjoy here and which has set Abia State apart as an oasis of peace is largely attributable to the gallantry and commitment of the officers of the different security agencies in the State.

“It is therefore preposterous and unacceptable that the same officers who strive day and night for our safety will receive any form of hostility from the citizens.

“The Governor assures that government will work with the Police in the State to fish out the perpetrators of that heinous act and ensure that they face the law as appropriate. 

“Governor Ikpeazu however assures innocent citizens in the area that his administration is already in talks with all the Service Commanders of the different Security agencies in the State with a view to bringing the situation under control. Innocent citizens must be protected at all costs. That is the position of the Law. 

“All innocent citizens are hereby urged to remain calm and go about their businesses without fear, let nor hindrance.” 

On its part, the Abia State Police Command has denied knowledge of the reported mass arrest. The Command’s Public Relations Officer, Geoffrey Ogbonna, said that he was not aware of any government statement on arrests, stating “Somebody who loses a thing will be looking for it.”

“All I know is that they are raiding perceived black spots in the area,” Ogbonna said

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