Listen to article
During an early morning clearance operation at Igboro Forest, located between Arochukwu and Ohafia Local Government Areas in Abia State, joint troops from the 82nd Division of the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Police engaged in a fierce encounter.
In the operation, they neutralised three suspects associated with the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its armed counterpart, the Eastern Security Network (ESN).
Brig. General Onyema Nwachukwu, the army’s spokesperson, announced that following their victory in the firefight, the troops promptly proceeded to dismantle numerous concealed camps utilised by these groups for committing atrocious acts.
‘The camps were uncovered, after several weeks of credible surveillance revealed that IPOB/ESN were using the forest as a combat training ground for their members and as a base for planning and launching attacks on targeted civilians, security operatives and government facilities in the state.’
‘On further exploiting the camp, the gallant troops recovered several weapons and ammunition. The Items recovered include One improvised 16 Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher (MBRL) Gun mounted on a vehicle, One improvised 12 MBRL Gun, One improvised 6 MBRL Gun, One AK 47 Rifle, One Dane Gun, 6 locally made Rocket Launchers, four Improvised Explosive Devices, five Fragmental Jackets, One Baofeng Radio, Military Camouflage Uniforms and several assorted charms.’
‘In a similar development that also took place in the early hours of September 18, 2023, same troops of 82 Division NA in synergy with the Nigerian Police Force, acting on credible intelligence busted IPOB/ESN hideout at Ezioha Mgbowo in Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State.’
‘The armed fighters were perfecting plans to enforce the illegal sit-at-home order in the area, when the vigilant troops swooped on them.’
‘The armed fighters, who opened fire on sighting troops approaching their camp were however defeated in the fire fight that followed, as the troops responded with overwhelming fire power, neutralizing three of the fighters, while others fled in disarray. The troops recovered three Pump Action Guns and 10 Machetes from the fleeing fighters.’
‘Members of the public are implored to continue to support the Nigerian Army and other security agencies with credible information to enhance the fight against terrorism insurgency and other criminal activities.’ He said.
Following its designation as a terrorist organization by the Nigerian government, the secessionist group, IPOB, has seen its members become targets due to rising security concerns.
IPOB has dissociated itself from the violence that has broken out in the Southeastern region, stating that criminal elements have hijacked the movement in an attempt to undermine its objectives.