Operation Search and Flush or Operation Egunje?
The issue of states setting up security outfits to combat crime in their localities has been a novel project of administration s in the country.
Imo state is not left out in this sector as successive civilian administrations had embarked on this venture.
Beginning from the Achike Udenwa to the Ihedioha, each era code named the outfits several names.
In Imo state, Gov. Hope Uzodinma came up with Operation Search and Flush.
The major aim of the outfit in the state, was to primarily help fight crime, security and protection of lives and properties.
Before the coming of the Search and Flush, the Ihedioha administration had earlier floated a similar security outfit known as the “Operation Iron Gate”, which helped quieten the reign of terror in the municipal, especially Douglas Road axis at that time.
The outfit made up of joint forces of both Police, Army, Airforce and even the Civil Defense! clamped so hard on crime as the name implied, with an Iron fisted approach and achieved relative success with residents around the area sleeping with both eyes closed.
Then came the Operation Search and Flush….
Recall that, the Governor had earlier in his maiden broadcast in January 2020, promised to flush out any form of crime and criminality to tackle insecurity in the state.
The governor said “In tandem, we shall launch Operation “FOC,” (Flush Out Criminals) – a combined security operations targeted at flashpoints and centres of high criminal activities; including hideouts; jungles; uncompleted buildings; forest; shrines; lakes and the creek.”
But recent activity of the security outfit has left much to be desired and kept Imolites wondering if it has now turned to a money making venture other than the security it is expected to protect?
Officers have now specialized in stopping commuters at security checks for the sole aim of “Egunje”, of which failure to comply will mean no movement for the bus driver.
Checkpoints have now been turned to toll gates and collection centers and this is done brazenly day and night.
This Egunje became popularised under the security outfit during the lockdown and just like any systematic problem in Nigeria, it has continued boldly unchecked.
This is regrettably different from what was obtainable during the time of Operation Iron gate.
Imolites are calling on the state Commissioner of Police, CP Isaac Akinmoyede to kindly look into this matter, as living condition is already harsh on residents occasioned by the aftermath of the lockdown and also to forestall crisis that could emanate from such activity.
[03:01, 13/08/2020] Tochi Trumpeta: Unsafe Places In Owerri At Night
As the police continue in her efforts to curtail criminal activities, some elements have sworn not to allow government strides on insecurity become fruitful owing to their nefarious activities.
Residents are still being harassed and dispossessed of their belongings at gun point at some critical spots in the state.
Crime in Focus listed some catchment areas that are sore spots for robbery at the municipality.
Top on list is the Douglas Road Axis; This place has continued to give the police headache due to the spate of robbery there. Maybe, owing to the area being one of the major commercial hub and central point of the municipal.
Within this same area is the Mbaise road and Amausa points. Navigating these areas at night can be dangerous as street urchins high on psychoactive substances resume full operations and one can get injured wrestling them.
Another point is the NkwoOrji at Orji: This spot has been known to be plagued by cultists and can be very dangerous at night.
Old Nekede Road: Is another spot which is highly dangerous and lonely. One can be robbed even at gun point and injured. It is one of the unsafe places at night.
Other areas include Amawire/MCC, Relief Market axis, Tetlow by School road junction.
[03:02, 13/08/2020] Tochi Trumpeta: Imo LGA; How Police Contained Waring Factions
But for the timely intervention of the Imo state Commissioner of Police, CP Isaac Akinmoyede, there maybe have been crisis yesterday involving the ousted local government chairmen who have completed plans protest and resume office.
In a release signed by the command’s spokesman, SP Orlando Ikeokwu who warned those trying to cause problems to stop, informing that, the police has upheld the appeal and stay on execution to the ruling.
It reads, “It has come to the notice of the Imo state Police Command that the ousted Local Government Chairmen and their supporters are planning to forcefully take over office simultaneously on Monday 13/7/2020. This is sequel to the claim that the Federal High court ruling is in their favour.”
“The appeal and stay of execution to that ruling has been received by the office of the Commissioner of Police Imo State. Just on 09/07/2020, the Appeal Court Order for the parties involved to maintain status quo”.
“The Command is fully aware of the court judgement directing them to return to office, and also the stay of execution and status quo obtained by the Interim Management committee.”
“To this end the command wish to warn both parties to maintain status quo as directed by the court until a final judgement is pronounced and wish to warn those trying to cause problems to desist from this act that is capable of leading to breakdown of law and order as the Command will not hesitate to arrest and prosecute anyone taking laws into his own hands.”
The police also warn that the directives on covid 19 restrictions remain intact.
“Similarly, the command wish to remind all the parties involved that the Covid 19 restrictions and directives is still in existence, as such, the ban on all forms of gathering/assembly is still in place, there shall therefore be no protest or gathering of any kind.”
” Any person or group of persons found violating this executive order as issued by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, will be arrested and prosecuted in accordance with the laws.”
[03:03, 13/08/2020] Tochi Trumpeta: Imo Police Arrest Wanted Man, Raja Over Armed Robbery, Rape
The Nigeria Police force Nekede Division has arrested a wanted suspect in Nekede area of the state, Emmanuel Uchehara popularly know as “Raja” who allegedly is responsible for raping women, armed robbery, drugs and other dangerous vices in the Umunkoto Umudibia Autonomous community, in Owerri West LGA of Imo state.
Operatives of the Division led by the DPO of the station, CSP Isah Adamu arrested Emmanuel in his hideout in possession of a locally made gun.
It would be recalled that the state Commissioner of Police, CP Isaac Akimoyede, as part of the Command’s effort to clear the state of bad elements, promised to make the state uncomfortable for men of the under world.
Emmanuel had allegedly masterminded various robbery operations and rape of women in the area. He is so feared that his name evokes fear in the minds of everyone in the community.
The Police Public Relations Officer, SP Orlando Ikeokwu has confirmed the incident.