OWERRI, 7 April 2021 – Unidentified gunmen on Tuesday attacked and burnt down another police station in Owerri, in Nigeria’s southeastern region.
The attack came within hours of the end of a visit earlier Tuesday by Nigeria’s Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
A police spokesperson said there were no casualties on their side and no arms were lost – but three vehicles were burnt in the attack.
At least one news report on Wednesday said one police officer was killed in the attack.
Vice-President Osinbajo visited the facilities damaged during an earlier raid in which the police headquarters in the Imo State capital, Owerri, was ransacked, looted of weapons, and burnt down as well as the state prison where a huge prison break was reported.
Vice-President Osinbajo expressed sadness over the attack, warning that “the path of violence can only lead to disaster”.
Many individuals detained at the police headquarters during the raid were released by the gunmen.
The unknown assailants also broke into the state prison, releasing an estimated 1,800 prisoners, according to the most updated data on the incidents.
Despite the best efforts of the Nigerian government to fight insecurity, the situation appears to be deteriorating fast.
Northeastern parts of the country are living in rapidly expanding insecurity brought about by repeated attacks by Islamist militants and criminal gangs, who kill civilians and kidnap for ransoms.
In January 2021, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari fired all the heads of the country’s armed forces – defense staff, the army, the navy, and the air force – whom he had appointed upon assuming office for the first time in 2015.
The Nigerian leader has been under sustained and sharp criticism for what his detractors describe as his failure to address security issues.
In the predominately Christian south, where Owerri is located, Buhari has been slammed for choosing his military chiefs from among his won northern Muslim-Hausa-Fulani community.
Some critics have accused the Buhari administration of appearing to look the other way whenever the origin of insecurity is members of the Muslim-Hausa-Fulani community and the victims are members of the Christian community.