A special operation in the southeast geopolitical zone, named “Operation Restore Peace (Operation RP),” was on Tuesday launched in Enugu by the acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, with the aim of curbing the trending violence and criminal activities in the zone.
Launching the operation, IGP Baba, said it was being carried out in accordance with President Muhammadu Buhari’s order to the Nigeria Police Force to restore peace and stability in the region.
The Police Chief added that the President’s directive was not only for the South East but also across the nation, stressing that there is urgent need to secure lives and property of residents of the country.
The IGP maintained that “the Nigeria Police are determined to restore peace and order where they are threatened and protect the citizens from all forms of threats to their lives and property.
He said that “the Operation RP in Enugu is the first in the line-up of our strategic plans to restore peace and order across the country” adding that “in the coming days, the special operation will be extended to other parts of the country to address the challenges of banditry, kidnapping and armed robbery
“Appreciating the individual and collective efforts of the South East governors in supporting the police in their efforts to restore peace and strengthen national unity, the IGP expressed confidence that “the support of all the strategic stakeholders will in due course change the current narrative in the zone for good”.
Praying that “the Almighty God will restore peace across the South East and in our dear country”, the IGP thanked Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, for his administration’s immeasurable support and cooperation to security agencies in the state.
In his address, Gov. Ugwuanyi welcomed the IGP and other senior Police officers who accompanied him to Enugu State, for the remarkable event.
The governor who noted that the occasion could not have come at a better time than now “given the bourgeoning insecurity in the country”, expressed optimism that the exercise will herald the rejigging and re-tooling of the Internal Security Architecture in the South East geo-political zone to bring it up to speed with emerging dimensions of criminality.
“That expectation, in my judgment, seems more realizable with the reassuring presence of the Ag. Inspector-General of Police here today”, the governor said.
Stressing that his administration fully understands that the primary purpose of government is the security and welfare of the people, as enshrined in the Nigeria’s constitution, Gov. Ugwuanyi stated that “pursuant to this leadership responsibility, we have strengthened our Neighbourhood Watch Associations, established Enugu State Forest Guards, which was a novel initiative of the South East Governors’ Forum, and provided security patrol vehicles and communication gadgets to support the security agencies in our state”.
According to the governor, “We have institutionalized functional collaboration between our Neighbourhood Watch groups, Forest Guards and security agencies especially in the area of intelligence sharing.
“Enugu State Security Trust Fund Law is in place to ensure sustainable funding for security agencies in our state. The deployment of our Automated Drone Surveillance Solution to give the needed impetus to our security surveillance is underway.
“We have not rested on our oars in providing a safe and secure environment for residents to live, work and enjoy life”.
Stating that the Operation RP for the South East is timely and most compelling, Gov. Ugwuanyi congratulated the IGP and his team for the great initiative, and assured them of his administration’s unflinching co-operation and support.
The governors of Ebonyi, Imo and Abia states were represented by their deputies while their Anambra State counterpart was represented by CP Ikechukwu Ayo Aduba (Rtd).
The Deputy Governor of Enugu State, Hon. Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo, Deputy Inspectors General of Police, Assistant Inspectors General of Police, Commissioner of Police of various states, Heads of other Security Agencies, the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor of Enugu State, Prof. Malachy Okwueze, other EXCO members and HRH Igwe Emma Ugwu of Ibagwa Nike, Enugu East Local Government Area, were also among the dignitaries at the event.