“Nigerian Army troops deployed to checkmate the activities of gunmen at Adani community of Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State, yesterday 13 July 2021, repelled Eastern Security Network (ESN) gun attack on troops’ location at Iggah/Asaba checkpoint.
“Sadly, during the firefight that ensued, two soldiers paid the supreme price. Troops are currently on the trail of the criminals,” Nwachukwu said in the statement.
The Nigeria Army, therefore, assured the general public of its commitment to provide adequate security in the general area in collaboration with other security agencies.
They also urge members of the public to complement the effort of the security agencies by remaining law-abiding and provide useful information on the fleeing gunmen.
The Nigerian Army on Saturday said it has stormed a “terrorist enclave” run by members of the Eastern Security Network in Rivers State and killed at least seven persons.
ESN is the military arm of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), which is seeking the creation of a Biafra nation carved out of Southern Nigeria.
A Nigerian court has outlawed IPOB and the Federal Government has designated the group as terrorists.
“Troops of 6 Division Garrison, Port Harcourt and 29 Battalion in conjunction with operatives of Nigerian Police, DSS, and NSCDC on Thursday, 27 May 2021, conducted a Clearance/Raid Operation at suspected IPOB/ESN enclaves at Agbomchia Forest along Pipeline Road Ogali/Komkom Boundary between Eleme and Oyigbo LGA’s of Rivers State,” a statement signed by army spokesman, Brigadier-General Mohammed Yerima said on Saturday.
“In the fire fight that ensued during the Clearance/Raid Operation, 7 IPOB/ESN members were neutralized while 5 suspects arrested.
“Various items belonging to the criminals including arms and ammunition were also recovered by the security forces. The camp was promptly destroyed while suspects and corpses were handed over to the Police for further actions.
“There was no casualty on own troops and other security operatives as they have returned back to base in high morale.
“The Nigerian Army urges members of the public to always avail the troops with accurate and timely information that will help in tracking down and neutralise the so-called Unknown Gunmen (UGM) who are terrorizing the region.”
Ebonyi State Governor Dave Umahi on Thursday said some criminals are committing crimes under the guise of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Eastern Security Network (ESN) in the South-East.
The governor made the comment during an interview on Channels Television breakfast programme Sunrise Daily.
“The truth of what is happening is that there are bandits everywhere; there are cultists everywhere. What happens now in the South-East is that criminals who may not necessarily be members of IPOB and ESN, will go and commit crimes and they need a name.
“So it’s safer for them to say they are members of ESN, and IPOB so that the persecution of IPOB and ESN by the Federal Government will cover them.
“That is what is happening in South-East because IPOB and ESN have a number of times come out to say they are not into terrorism and violence, and the people burning police stations and killing are not their members. And so how do you reconcile the two?” he said.
The governor urged South-East governors to rise against the ugly trend of attacks on security outfits especially police stations in the region.
“It is a monster that we must not allow to arise in the South-East. When they finish with that (attacking police stations) they will start attacking stakeholders to kill them,” Umahi said.
IPOB Or Gunmen?
IPOB has been blamed for the recent attacks on prisons and police stations in the South-East but the group have denied the claims noting they are agitators, not gunmen.
Few hours after gunmen attacked the Nigerian Correctional Services and the Police Headquarters in the Imo State freeing prison inmates, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu revealed that the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)/Eastern Security Network (ESN) was behind the attack.
In response to this, IPOB stressed that they are not gunmen.
“We were not involved in the attack in Owerri and the recent attack on Onitsha-Owerri road at Ukwuorji junction.
“It is not our mandate to attack security personnel or prison facilities,’’ the Media and Publicity Secretary of the group, Emma Powerful said.
Meanwhile, Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma in his reaction to attacks in the South-East blamed aggrieved politicians, saying their aim was to destabilise his government and that of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The governor reacting three days after gunmen attacked the Nigerian Correctional Services and the Police Headquarters in Imo State explained that security agencies have gathered intelligence on the sponsors of the thugs and their planning leading to the attack on government establishments.