By Okey Maduforo Awka
As the Sit At Home order by Simon Ekpa enters it’s second day in the South East 5 persons suspected to be members of the Ekpa led group have been arrested by the Joint Task Force on Security in both Anambra and Enugu states respectively.
Similarly seven members of the JTF which includes two policemen and 5 solders were injured following the detonation of a locally fabricated bomb by the group.
Communities such as Osumoghu in Nnewi South local government area, Luli, Ihembosi in Ihiala and Ekwusigo local government areas , Ekeutu market in Orsu Ihiteukwa in Oru West local government area of Imo state and New Market in Enugu Capital Enugu state.
Recall that the Chief Of Army Staff Major Gen Abiodun Lagbaja had ordered troops to flush out the unknown gunmen from their hide outs in the South East following issues of insecurity in the area.
Confirming the report Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, Director Army Public Relations, Nigeria Army has revealed that a joint security operatives have sacked hoodlums known as unknown gunmen in a camp in Anambra.
Nwachukwu in a press release said that the camp, which is inside a forest in an Anambra community, Orsumoghu, Nnewi South Local Government Area was invaded by the operatives on Monday.
He said: “The raid operation was carried out on Monday 31 July 2023, when troops were alerted to the violent activities of the irredentist group enforcing the illegal 2 weeks sit-at-home order in Onitsha, Nnewi and Iheme Obosi in Anambra State, as well as New Market in Enugu state.
“This is in the ongoing operations to deter the enforcement of the illegal sit at home declared by Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its armed wing, Eastern Security Network (ESN).
“Combined troops of 82 Division Nigerian Army, sister Services, Nigeria Police and other security agencies successfully raided hideouts and training camps belonging to IPOB/ESN in Orsomoghu Forest spanning Anambra and Imo States.
“Sadly, five soldiers and two Nigeria Police operatives sustained varying degrees of injuries from IEDs detonated by the criminals.
“During the raid operations, the troops cleared IPOB camps in Ekeututu, Orsomoghu, Lilu and Mother Valley camps of the dissidents.
“Troops came in contact with the group’s armed fighters, who detonated Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) also known as Ogbunigwe and fired using a locally fabricated mortar tube.
“The valiant troops, however, overpowered the irredentist group in the firefight, compelling them to abandon their position as they fled with gunshot wounds into nearby bushes.
“Further cordon and search of the hideouts by the troops led to the arrest of five fleeing members of the group and recovery of one IPOB flag, one CCTV camera and 2 detonated IED bombs and a fabricated mortar tube.”
Onyema Nwachukwu said the Nigerian Army encourages all law-abiding citizens of the South East to continue to support ongoing operations with actionable information and to disregard the unlawful two weeks sit-at-home order by going about their normal daily activities and businesses.
“The Nigerian Army, in synergy with sister services and security agencies, will undauntedly continue to protect and safeguard lives and property of the good and enterprising people of South East Nigeria, within the ambit of the law and the rules of engagement,” he said.