Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has asked the people of Imo state to resist attempt by hoodlums to destabilise the state, describing the attackers as cowards.
Speaking yesterday in Owerri, Osinbajo who visited Imo State to commission a newly constructed road project, Dick-Tiger-Methodist-Chukwuma Nwaoha road, used the opportunity to visit the bombed Owerri Correctional Center and Imo Police headquarters.
He said: “We know we are here in Imo State to commission roads but only on Monday morning, hoodlums attacked public institutions: the Owerri Correctional Centre and the Police headquarters. This is an attack on the well being of the people.
“I say this because, when you attack police stations and you release criminals, what you are doing is putting men and women in the society in danger. Our system is not perfect but we can continue to improve on it.
“There are many of us who are working tirelessly to improve our system but the agents of destruction and disintegration are taking advantage of the situation. I call on all of us, Imo people, to resist any of their attempts.
“When you attack institutions of law and order, it is evident that it is not just an attack on justice, it is an attack on the welfare and well-being of the people, especially when you free prisoners, persons who are dangerous to our people. This is definitely bad. This is, indeed, condemnable.
“Government has already taken steps to enhance security here at the correctional facility in the state and nationally and that is a continuing process.”
Imo State Police Commissioner, Nasiru Mohammed, who said he had taken stock of losses to the police, pointed out that 36 vehicles were burnt, while 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 from prisons, 16 have returned,’” he said.
The CP, however, said the visit of the immediate past IGP has boosted the morale of the officers to continue to defend the state.