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‘Unknown gunmen’ attacks on police leave officers scared in Nigeria

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There is tension, especially among police officers, who are being targeted in a series of attacks by some unknown gunmen.

At least 54 officers have been killed since attacks on police facilities and officers began in October 2020, after government forces used force against protesters calling for an end to police brutality and the dissolution of a notorious unit known as the ‘Special Anti-Robbery Squad’, which several reports have indicted of robbery, murder of civilians for fun and trading corpses of victims in their detention facilities.

The series of attacks on the police has left officers in fear, even as many of them have desert the job.

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“I only wear my uniform at our station, I don’t wear it on the way to work,” said an inspector in the eastern region of the country where the attacks have worsened.

“After we were advised to be on high alert, many of us who have our family nearby do not sleep there,, here at the station we do no sleep to, we always keep watch at night.”

A sergeant who lost his colleagues in an attack on a checkpoint said that one of the attackers is a lady,”she was wearing a black mask.”

“… with the way they opened fire during the shooting that lasted a few minutes, I think they have superior weapons,” he said.

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The situation have forced officers to leave checkpoints, while some police facilities remain partially closed.

The attacks for which no group has claimed responsibility have added to the growing security challenge in the country where Islamic militants and militias have taken over the northern region.

Tidings

Police plot to attack Lagos and accuse IPOB, says Yoruba Group

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Apapo Oodua Koya (AOKOYA), a Yoruba group at the forefront of agitations for self-determination in southwestern Nigeria, said Nigerian police is plotting to attack Lagos and accuse the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) – a secessionist group in the eastern part of the country.

The group made this known while refuting the claim by Hakeem Odumosu, the Lagos State Police Commissioner who alleged that IPOB and secessionist group from the southwest were plotting to attack soft targets in the State.

“This is clearly another grand plot to set the Yoruba against Igbo. We do not believe the police claim,” said AOKOYA in a statement on Tuesday.

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“This is a game of wits. We urge Igbo and Yoruba to be aware. When Fulani terrorists were attacking Yoruba, kidnapping the people, the police did not mention any name.

“Now that IPOB is fighting for self-determination, the Fulani leadership is looking for a way to divide the emerging Igbo and Yoruba solidarity. This evil plot will fail.

“We call on the Federal Government to send soldiers to flush our Fulani terrorists in Yewa, Igana in Oyo and armed Fulani cells across the South West forests. IPOB is not Yoruba problem. IPOB is not kidnapping Yoruba people.

“IPOB is not occupying Yoruba forests. IPOB is not kidnapping, raping and killing Yoruba women and students. IPOB is not killing our farmers. The police should focus on Fulani terrorists in the South West instead of blackmailing IPOB.

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“We warn the Fulani Federal Government; do not bomb Lagos and then put the blame on IPOB in order to cause disaffection between Yoruba and Igbo.

“This is an old trick used by (Adolf) Hitler to set people against each other. It is one of the instruments Fulani have employed to keep themselves in power. The game is up.”

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Allegations that IPOB is plotting to attack Lagos is a lie — Kanu

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Nnamdi Kanu, rights activist and leader of the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB)

The rights activist and leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, refuted the claim that the group was plotting to attack Lagos state in southwestern Nigeria.

Lagos State Police Commissioner, Hakeem Odumosu, said on Monday that the state police command was investigating the separatist group, Oodua Republic, alongside a threat from IPOB to carry out an attack against soft targets in the state.

“The public is hereby notified that the allegations that IPOB is plotting to attack Lagos is a Lie,” Kanu responded via a tweet on Monday.

The IPOB leader added that “Lagos State CP, Hakeem Odumosu who made the allegation is a former CSO to Tinubu & their intention is to fuel division between Yorubas & Biafrans. It won’t work. This is not 1967!”

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In recent weeks, accusations from police and some government officials alleging that separatist groups in the country are responsible for attacks on formations and officers of government security agencies met disagreement from many persons including security experts, who called the claims false.

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IPOB not responsible for attacks in eastern Nigeria — Lawmaker

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Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe

Nigerian Senate minority leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, has exonerated the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) of the ongoing attacks on government forces and facilities in Nigeria’s eastern region.

The lawmaker said the attackers are “fifth columnists” brought in from other places to destabilize the region inhabited by majority Igbo Christians.

He told THE NATION that members of the separatist group are not terrorists, adding that the Nigerian government’s claims that they are behind the attacks are wrong.

“Anybody, who is seeing all these problems in southeast as coming from the IPOB, anyone trying to pin the insecurity situation in southeast to IPOB or MASSOB is making a mistake. We do not think so,” said Abaribe.

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“Those of us from the southeast here know that this is nothing but fifth columnists imported into Igboland to destabilise Igboland. This is because Igboland is the safest place that we had in this country.

“All they want to do is to cause a confusion and make this place ungovernable so that they can go out and say there is terrorism here.

“We are not terrorists. The ethos of the Igbo man is very simple: live and let live. We build; we don’t destroy. We never kill because we take life very precious.

“So, anyone telling you all these, it’s people who come from elsewhere trying to destabilize Igboland. But, it will never happen”.

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