By Benjamin Nworie in Abakaliki
The Ebonyi State Police Command has confirmed the arrest of two suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) over an alleged attempt to bomb the six-span Ugwogo Idembia Bridge in Ezza South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
In an interview with newsmen, the Police Public Relations Officer ASP Loveth Odah gave the names of the suspects as one Nweke Kingsley and Chijoke Uwakwe.
The PPRO who condemned the attack said that the command was battle ready to arrest and prosecute any member of the proscribed organisation ahead of the election adding that the command would deploy adequate security to forestall any breakdown of law and order.
Earlier, the Ebonyi State Governor, Chief David Umahi in a live broadcast described the incident as a case of terrorism.
The governor disclosed that the suspects were arrested by the state internal security while trying to detonate an explosive at the Idembia bridge in the state.
According to the governor, “as the Chief Security officer of the state, I was briefed by security agencies that a House of Assembly candidate went to quarry site to buy explosives and the people came and reported to us, they refused to sell to him. We had to immediately report to the security agencies and they have the name of the person. They moved into action to arrest the person and I have said they should declare him wanted.
“Subsequently, four hours later, we got information that a meeting was held and it was agreed to plant explosives in hotels, in flyovers and bridges including bridges built by past administration in the state. While we were still examining the authenticity of the information, Commissioner for Internal Security called to say that the Community and Neighbourhood Security Watch apprehended two people that have succeeded in planting explosives at Idembia Bridge and they have not detonated it.
“They were still planting it, they go to the expansion of the bridge the weakest link to plant it. They have been apprehended and sent to the Army and the Army has sent them to the police. So, they are being investigated.”
The governor further stated that, “Two House of Representatives candidates in Ezza North LGA were shooting guns. Incidentally, a police orderly was attached to one of them who participated in the shooting of gun. The matter has been reported to the police to fish out the police orderly and he must be arrested. Moreso, Army personal also arrested one of the candidates of a political party along the road with a pistol. Then in Ikwo, somebody was arrested with gun for terrorizing his community.
“I have encouraged Ebonyians to come out and vote because we have enough security and that any disturbance, they should just let the security agencies know. Security agencies are equal to the task and they are very neutral and well prepared to protect the people.”
Governor Umahi urged Ebonyians not to be afraid of anything adding that men of the security forces are on ground to protect the lives and properties of the people