Nigerian Army Invade IPOB Eastern Security Network’s Operational Base, Kill Five, Burn Church, Others.
On Monday, Nigerian Army operatives again targeted residents of Okporo, Orlu Local Government Area, Imo State, killing approximately five people.
READ ALSO : IPOB: Ohaneze Ndigbo Send Powerful Message to Governor Hope Uzodinma on Military Operations Against Igbos
Our media found that several people were also wounded when soldiers stormed the community accused of being the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) security force’s operational base, the Eastern Security Network (ESN).
The soldiers’ assault was said to be a reprisal after ESN members engaged them in a shooting last Friday.
READ ALSO : Governor Uzodinma declares dusk to dawn curfew in Imo State As Nigerian Army and IPOB in Gun battle
It was also learned that during last Friday’s security activity, one person died in the community market square.
Also, about 10 buildings were reportedly set ablaze by the troops, including a church, the Blessed Holy Trinity Sabbath Mission.
They came back today and began to kill our people, and now I can’t confirm the number of casualties, but there are more than five. Last Friday, they were here and they killed one person in the market square. These masked security agents have burnt about 10 buildings on Friday.
“A source told SaharaReporters, “Imo State is not currently safe; Governor Hope Uzodinma does not allow soldiers to kill all of his people.
ESN was launched in December 2020 by IPOB chief Mazi Nnamdi Kanu to protect the people of the South-East and South-South regions from terrorists and bandits allegedly trooping in from the North.
The outfit was identified by Kanu as a replica of the Western Nigeria Security Network, also known as Amotekun, previously launched by South-West governors to curb the region’s insecurity.
Kanu had said, “The sole objective and objective of this newly formed security organization known as the Eastern Security Network is to stop all criminal activity and terrorist attacks on Biafraland.”
“This outfit, which is a vigilante group like the South-West Amotekun and the security outfit of Miyetti Allah, will ensure the safety of our forests and farmland that terrorists have turned into slaughtering grounds and raping fields.”
He added that after what he described as the “failure” of the governors of the South-South and South-East to put in place measures to protect the people in those regions, the formation of the security outfit became inevitable.
It was previously confirmed that battle helicopters, gun trucks and soldiers had been sent by the Nigerian Army to search several forests in the South-East states where the ESN was accused of camping.
The military search had been underway for days, our channel reported, and had no time frame, as the army acted on “orders from above.”
A video captured the Nigerian Army helicopters and their vehicles and soldiers looking for the ESN camp to make arrests, from drones and concealed cameras suspected to be mounted by the ESN.
It has recently been learned that some Nigerian soldiers have deserted and joined the ESN, on the ground that the ESN, supported by both foreign and local donors, has better healthcare packages than the military for its officers.
The boys of the Kanu ESN are not a bunch of rookies and untrained guys brandishing guns. I personally know five guys who left the Nigerian Army to join ESN from my hometown in Anambra State. Two of them had previously worked in Operation Lafiya Dole, State of Borno, until they left.
A military source told SaharaReporters, “We are being reliably informed that there are other soldiers, particularly those from the South-East Extraction, who will soon leave for various other reasons and are likely to be recruited into the fold.”
In July 2012, approximately 356 soldiers resigned from the army in the North-East and other operational theaters, some on voluntary retirement, while others cited lack of interest as their reason for disengagement.
On July 3, 2020, under Reference NA/COAS/001, the soldiers wrote to the army chief, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, citing the Harmonized Terms and Conditions of Service for Soldiers/Rating/Airmen (Revised) 2017.
A 17-page circular from Buratai, AHQ DOAA/G1/300/92, signed by Brig Gen T.E. Gagariga to the army chief, contained the approval of the voluntary disengagement of the 356 soldiers.
Again, another batch of 127 soldiers resigned from the Nigerian Army this January and are expected to depart by May.
They comprised one Master Warrant Officer, three Warrant Officers, 22 Staff Sergeants, 29 Sergeants, 64 Corporals, seven Lance Corporals and one Private.
Our reporters also reported how the Nigerian Army was criticized by a cross-section of Nigerians for deploying aircraft and gun trucks to locate Kanu’s ESN camp, arguing that it was a misplaced priority in the country’s security challenges.
However, a few others supported the army saying that the ESN might become a regional security threat as the governors of the South-East had also dissociated themselves from the outfit.
A lot of Nigerians claimed on Twitter that military action was a misplaced priority, and there was no such zeal and energy in the North-East against the terrorists of Boko Haram or against the bandits in the North-West.
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