February 26, 2024

Coordinated Security Operation to Counter Violent Activities: The Nigerian Army’s Efforts against IPOB/Eastern Security Network

By Akeem Alao

In recent times, the South East region of Nigeria has been facing challenges with violent activities perpetrated by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its Eastern Security Network (ESN).

In response to the criminal group’s enforcement of an unlawful two-week sit-at-home order in certain areas, the Nigerian Army, along with the Police and other security agencies, conducted a meticulously planned raid on the hideouts and training camps of IPOB/ESN in the Orsomoghu Forest, spanning Anambra and Imo States.

This opinion explores the details of this operation, as stated by the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, highlighting the objectives, outcomes, and implications for the region’s security.

Operation Objectives

The primary objective of this coordinated security operation was to neutralize the violent activities of IPOB/ESN in the South East region, particularly in areas such as Onitsha, Nnewi, Iheme Obosi in Anambra State, and New Market in Enugu State.

These areas had been affected by the enforcement of an illegal sit-at-home order, causing disruption and fear among the local population.

The operation aimed to dismantle the criminal group’s camps, which had been strategically located in Ekeututu, Orsomoghu, and Lilu, and apprehend its members responsible for the unlawful activities.

Operation Details and Outcomes

The raid on the hideouts and training camps was conducted with precision, involving the deployment of troops from the Nigerian Army, as well as personnel from the Police and other security agencies.

According to the official statement by Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, the operation yielded significant results.

“Five members of the IPOB/ESN group were arrested while attempting to flee the scene.”

The recovery of an IPOB flag, a CCTV camera, two detonated improvised explosive devices (IED) bombs, and a fabricated mortar tube served as evidence of the group’s dangerous activities.

However, the operation was not without risks.

During the confrontation with the criminal group, five soldiers and two Police officers sustained injuries from the detonation of the IED bombs deployed by the perpetrators.

Despite the challenges faced by the security forces, their determination and professionalism in executing the operation led to tangible outcomes, providing a sense of relief for the affected communities.

Call for Public Support and Compliance

The Nigerian Army, recognizing the importance of community involvement in maintaining security, encouraged the people of the South East region to continue supporting ongoing operations with vital information.

Collaborative efforts between the security forces and the local population are crucial in curbing the activities of insurgent groups like IPOB/ESN and fostering a safer environment for all.

The official statement also emphasized the need to disregard the unlawful two-week sit-at-home order enforced by the criminal group, as it only served to disrupt normalcy and economic activities in the region.

Conclusion

The raid on the hideouts and training camps of IPOB/ESN in the Orsomoghu Forest demonstrated the Nigerian Army’s commitment to countering violent activities and restoring peace in the South East region.

The operation’s success in apprehending five members, dismantling camps, and recovering dangerous materials highlights the effectiveness of a well-coordinated security approach.

However, it also underscores the challenges and risks faced by security personnel in their efforts to maintain law and order.

The Nigerian Army’s call for public support and cooperation remains crucial in ensuring the sustained success of such operations.

By collaborating with the local population and disregarding unlawful orders imposed by criminal groups, the South East region can continue its journey towards lasting peace and stability.

The concerted efforts of security agencies and the public alike are essential in safeguarding the region and upholding the principles of a secure and prosperous Nigeria.

Akeem Alao is a Lagos-based freelance journalist and a language instructor.

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