The police are on red alert across the nation to nip in the bud any attempt to actualize the October 1 quit notice served on Igbo residing in the north by a coalition of Northern youth organizations.
Although the quit notice was withdrawn a few weeks back by its authors, Police Inspector General Ibrahim Idris yesterday directed all police officers and men to be ready to deal with any threat to national peace.
The full weight of the law, Idris warned, would be brought on any person or group for any unlawful act or attempt to cause disturbance of law and order and public peace in the country.
He also directed police personnel to stop the spread of hate speech and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.
But he urged the personnel to be civil, polite and firm in performing their duties.
The directives were given in a in a statement through the Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Moshood Jimoh.
Jimoh said: “The 2017 Nigeria Independence celebration is scheduled to take place across the country on October 1, 2017.To this end, the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim K. Idris has directed that a robust and elaborate security arrangement be implemented to ensure a hitch free and peaceful celebration nationwide.
“Similarly, the Inspector-General of Police has placed all the personnel of the Force on RED ALERT to nip in the bud any attempt by any group under whatsoever guise to cause disturbance of the peace on 1st of October, 2017 or at any other time.
“Consequently, Assistant Inspectors General of Police and Commissioners of Police in charge of Zonal and State Commands have been directed by the Inspector General of Police to be personally on ground to deploy and supervise Police Personnel on visible police patrols and police presence at strategic locations and other identified flash points within the cities, and along the highways and major roads in all states of the country and FCT to build confidence of safety in the people residing everywhere in the country.
“The Police Commanding Officers are to deploy all intelligence and personnel to make sure that the purported quit notice given to the Igbo in the North as well as the Hausa/Fulani and Yoruba in the Niger Delta region are not actualized.
“They are also to enforce the law as required to prevent the utterance of hate speech and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.
“The Nigeria Police Force therefore wishes to implore parents and guardians, traditional rulers, community leaders, religious leaders, youths groups, politicians and public office holders to prevail on their children and wards, adherents, brethren, followers and supporters to be law abiding and not to allow themselves to be used to cause disturbance of public peace anywhere in the country.
“The full weight of the law will be applied on any person or group for any unlawful act or attempt to cause disturbance of law and order and public peace in the nation.
“While congratulating our dear nation, Nigeria and the good people of this great country on the occasion of the 57th Independence Anniversary, the IGP implores Nigerians to be their brother’s keeper and demonstrate love, as well as promote harmonious co-existence with our fellow Nigerians.
“To ensure adequate security and guarantee utmost protection of life and property of all Nigerians during the period of the celebration and beyond, the Inspector General of Police has directed the Commissioners of Police in all states of the federation and their supervising Assistant Inspectors General of Police in charge of Zonal Commands to carryout massive deployment of officers and men of the Force comprising conventional police personnel, Police Mobile Force, counter terrorism unit, special police forces, Force Intelligence and Investigation Department for covert and overt operations, the Police Helicopters and Police Marine Gunboats to patrol difficult terrains and riverine areas throughout the country, and the Police Mounted Troops and Dogs section for crowd control and crime prevention at venues of celebration and recreation during the period and beyond.
“The personnel deployed are under strict instructions to be civil, polite but firm in the discharge of their responsibilities. They are to pay special attention to places of celebrations, public places and other locations where people will gather to celebrate the Independence anniversary.
“Sustained surveillance and proactive crime prevention strategies will be adopted, while the ongoing raids of criminal hideouts, black spots, identified troubled spots and other vulnerable points to remove criminal elements will be continued throughout the period.”