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Police arrest IPOB members in Bayelsa, cautions against associating with group

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Police

Operatives of Operation Puff Adder of the Bayelsa State Police Command, yesterday, arrested 10 persons during a secret meeting of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Okutukutu area of Yenagoa.

The police said the meeting might not be unconnected with plans to unleash mayhem on some parts of Bayelsa State, especially Yenagoa, the capital.

They revealed that a book titled: The Chain Of One Nigeria Broken: The Story Of Our Journey To Freedom, was also recovered from members of the separatist group.

The Guardian learnt that the arrest was made on Tuesday following a tip-off and detailed surveillance on the private school where the secessionists held the meeting in the area.

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According to police source, those arrested were taken to the state Police Command where they were profiled.

A resident of Okutukutu, identified as Clifford, said the suspected IPOB members were arrested by a team of Operation Puff Adder officers, adding: “We noticed some strange movement of plain clothed and uniformed policemen in the area.

“Most residents started moving into their homes to avoid being caught on the wrong side of the law. They proceeded to the school and we were shocked when they brought out some people in handcuffs, because we thought the school was empty,” he said.

Security sources, however, revealed that a lawyer and headmaster of a school were among those arrested. He: “The suspects locked themselves in one of the classrooms. When the police arrived, they nearly turned back, but when they broke one of the classrooms, they saw the suspected IPOB members.”

A statement issued by the Bayelsa Police Command Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Asinim Butswat, however, cautioned members of the public against associating with lPOB.

“Intelligence available to the command indicates that some misguided elements are planning to set-up IPOB cells in the state, but policemen are on their trail and monitoring their activities.

“The Bayelsa State Police Command appeals to the people of Bayelsa State to go about their lawful and legitimate businesses, as security agencies are on ground to ensure peace and order in the state,” the statement reads.

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