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Residents of Anambra State on Tuesday ignored the civil disobedience order by separatist leader and Finland-based agitator, Mr. Simon Ekpa, which called for people of the south-east to sit at home for a period that will run into two weeks.
The Eastern Updates recalls that Ekpa had in several broadcasts had said the sit-at-home would last for two weeks, starting from July 31 to August 14.
The agitator had in a video on Monday, rejoiced over what he called the total shutdown of the zone, in obedience to his order, while saying that from yesterday (Tuesday), the entire Igboland would be a ghost town.
Though he said the move was to press the federal government to release detained leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, Kanu’s supporter had dismissed the claim, saying that he was not a member of the group, but rather working against it.
In Awka, Anambra State capital, schools, markets, banks and motor parks were all opened for business, in defiance to the order.
A resident of the state, Mr. Arinze Uzor said: “He is asking us to sit at home, will he feed anyone? We stayed at home on Monday because it is almost becoming a norm to sit at home on Monday. But the remaining days, we will not listen to him.”
Meanwhile, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, Director Army Public Relations, Nigeria Army has revealed that joint security operatives have sacked hoodlums known as unknown gunmen in a camp in Anambra.
Nwachukwu in a press release said the camp, which was 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 two 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 ambit of the law and the rules of engagement,” he said.