The police in Imo on Wednesday led detachments of the Nigerian Army and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in a show of strength in Owerri, the state capital ahead of the sit-at-home order by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on October 1.
The exercise took off from the State Police Command headquarters, Owerri at about 10 am and moved round the major streets within the capital city.
The convoy included an Armoured Personnel Carrier and several patrol vans, loaded with heavily armed men, raising tension amongst residents within the state capital.
According to the Imo state police command spokesperson, Orlando Ikeokwu, who confirmed that the parade was in response to the sit-at-home order declared by the proscribed IPOB, said all the ten police area commands in the state are ready to ensure peace during the celebration and beyond.
The police spokesperson said the Show of Force was to reassure residents the police in conjunction with the security agencies were capable of protecting them.
He stressed: “We want them to know that the law will not spare them should they go ahead to disrupt the prevailing peace, which residents of the state are presently enjoying. So we used this opportunity to instill confidence in the people that security agencies are alive to their primary duties of protecting their lives and property.
“The Police Chief, therefore, urged the people to ignore the sit-at-home order and go about their lawful businesses without any fear of molestation.”