The Nigeria Police Force High Command has suspended till further notice special protection escort for political office holders and other very important persons (VIPs) in some states in the South-East and South-South parts of the country.
The Nigerian Tribune gathered in Abuja on Wednesday that the directive followed the incessant attacks on security operatives and formations in the South-East and part of South-South zones by suspected members of the banned Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The force directed its men not to accompany their principals to Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo and Rivers States until the security situation improves in these areas.
The directive was contained in a wireless message with reference CB: 0900/DTS/DOPS/VOL.47/812X, titled ‘Attack on policemen, snatching of rifles by IPOB,’ issued by the Commissioner of Police, Asaba, Delta State.
The signal was copied to the chief security officer, Government House; Chief Superintendent of Police, Department of Operations; Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, Delta State House of Assembly, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation annex, among others.
The wireless message reads, “Sequel to the incessant attacks on policemen and snatching of arms and ammunition by the proscribed IPOB/ESN (Eastern Security Network) elements in the Eastern states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo States and Rivers State, COMPOL DOPS directs you warn personnel that escort of their principals to the six eastern states is suspended forthwith until the security situation improves. Ensure strict compliance, please.”
Since last year, many security operatives have been killed during attacks on security formations in the South-East and South-South regions while several police formations were either vandalised or burnt down completely by hoodlums
Though the Force Public Relations Officer, FPRO, CP Frank Mba could not be easily reached at press time a very senior officer at the Force Headquarters in Abuja confirmed the story to Nigerian Tribune in confidence saying that the action became necessary to safeguard the lives of police personnel from further attacks.