Insecurity:South East,New Battle Ground

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By Stephen Ubanna

Not many are surprised  that the south east  state of Imo, has turned out to a new battle ground between security Operatives and the Court proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra , IPOD and the Eastern  Security Network, ESN, labelled as the armed wing of the Group.

For now the battle ground are concentrated in the north east states of Borno, Yobe, particular and the Islamic Fundamentalist Group , BokoHaram and Islamic State of West African Province, which have link with ISIS, and other militant Groups in the Sahel region are operating  and  north west states of Zamfara  Kaduna, and Katsina, where the armed Bandits are making life uncomfortable for the people, by attacking the Communities , viryually on a daily basis.

 Many believe that the foundation for the battle in the state between theIPOD/ESN, Group and the security operatives, may have been laid by Hope Uzodimma, a Senator of Federal Republic of Nigeria, and now governor of Imo state. He had said that the Groups which are, funded by Politicians, were instrumental for the attack on the state Police Command Headquarters and the Nigerian Correctional Services Centre ,NCSC,  custodial facility, at Owerri, the state Capital.

This may have informed why  the Nigerian  Police Intelligence Response Team may have  swooped into action to  arrest the suspects. They had their way with the support of the state government. The information volunteered by the arrested  suspects may have given the Joint security of operatives comprising  of the IRT, Department of State Security, DSS And the Lt.General Ibrahim Attahiru, led Nigerian Army, 82 Division to have an insight  into where the Group usually hold their secret meetings to plot their next areas of attack in any of the south east and south-south south states.

The security agencies personnel were said to have been made to know that the south east armed gang under the close watch of Nnamdi Kanu, who is on self-exile but currently Commanded by one Ikonso, popularly addressed as the Vice President  hold their gang meetings at Awomama, in Oru East  Local government Area of the south east state.

 An informed security source told The Value News that The IRT, DSS, and troops of the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army,  had set up a Surveillance  Team to monitor the movement of people in and out of the  the Awomama Community in order to guide them in their operation without missing their target

The Magazine gathered that based on the Surveillance team intelligence gathering and what they have seen on  ground at Awomama Community and other security reports,  they were said to have concluded that the time is ripe to invade the IPOD  Location.

Acting  on the advice of the surveillance team, they were said  to have set the machinery in motion to raid  the IPOD and ESN, Awomama Headquarters,   which was a closed guided secret.  Convinced that Ikonso and the other top Commanders had arrived for the Saturday, April 24, for usual meeting meeting, they struck.

An eyewitness account disclosed that  on noticing  the presence  of the Joint  security operatives operation  team , in their premises, the IPOD/ESN, fighters had no option but to open fire on  the raiding  Joint security team  to force them to run but they got  it wrong.

 Unknown to them the Joint security tem were well prepared for them  as they were said to have swiftly responded  and overwhelmed them with superior fire power killing Ikonso, the overall Commander and six other top Commanders.  Some of the IPOD and ESN fighters  were said to have escaped into the bush with bullet wounds.

Joint Security Team Recovered Items At IPOD/ESN, Awomama Headquarters In Imo State

The IPOD and ESN,, officials,  desertion of the location for the meeting may have encouraged the soldiers to move in and take over the building where they were said to have recovered  three AK47 and one Sienna van belonging to the armed gang  and several other  items of value  including drugs  suspected to be  psychotropic substances  currently being processed  by the Intelligence team and the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA,   for further investigations  of the operations of the team in the  south east Geopolitical region. late Ikonso,  may have exposed himself to the security agencies personnel because of the several pictures he had taken in the past, posing with Kanu both within and outside the country which were posted  in the internet.

Although , the Joint security team, had succeeded in dislodging the IPOD and the ESN, operatives from their Awomama Headquarters , they were said to be counting their own loses,  sustained during the gun dual  with the south east gang fighters. Mohammed Yerima, a Brigadier General and spokesperson of the Army, confirmed that a second Lieutenant and three IRT, personnels, were killed but were evacuated  to a military facility in Oerrri.

Uzodimma: Armed Gunmen Stormed His Country Home To Burn It

The Joint security operatives attack on the Awowomama Headquarters of the IPOD and ESN, may have encouraged the  Groups,  to attack the country home of  Uzodimma, the Imo state governor at Omuma,  in Oru East Local government Area. The Criminal elements numbering  about 15, who were said to be driving in a motorcade  of three vehicles accompanied by a tipper load of used tyres  were said to  have stormed the governor’s country home on Saturday and had attempted to burn it down.

It was gathered that the quick intervention   of the security operatives  attached to the house saved the  situation as they were said to have forced them to flee, which may have minimised the damage they had planned  to unleash on the building.

A Statement  issued by IPOD , after the confirmed killing of Ikonso, their overall Commander  by the Joint security  team  at their Awomama Headquarters, may have informed why the Group had said   that Uzodimama, the Imo state governor  has’’ stirred the Hornets’ Nest’’, which speaks volume. The Group had told those that cares to listen that ‘’the governor has murdered sleep and should be ready’’to stay awake’’.

Indeed, the  gun dual between the Joint security  team and the IPOD/ESN, operatives at their Awomama base   and attacks on the Imo governor’s country home at Omuma ,and  on other parts of the south east region by armed herdsmen, may have forced  the south east states  governors to meet in Enugu, Capital of Enugu  state, which incidentally was the Capital of the original  old Eastern region on Sunday, April 25, 2021. There were reports making rthe reounds that  the armed herdsmen had destroyed a police van and attacked government officials on Lawful dies  with AK47 in one of the states but the security  men were nowhere to be found to arrest them.

The worry of many in the region who do not have  the money to engage  private security men  or arrange for policemen to be guiding them is that now that the IPO and ESN, operatives  harassment , nobody is save in the region as the armed herdsmen will attack without restraint in any of the Communities.

The rising insecurity in the region and the attack on Uzodimma, the Imo state governor’s country home may have informed why  the governors  are looking at the option of’’ the domestication  of EBUBEAGU’’, named after the animal, Lion, a regional security outfit in each of the states to be able to contain the  Criminal elements.

In a related development, armed gunmen were said to have attacked Policemen and Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone C, operatives  at various checkpoints in Rivers state on Saturday. A, April 24, 2021, the same day that Ikonso, the overall Commander of IPOD  and ESN, and six other top Commanders were killed at their Awomama Headquarters in Imo state.  The unfortunate incident was said to have occurred between Omagwa –Isiokp-Elele  Communties in Ikerre Local government Area of the oil-rich Rivers state. It could not be ascertained the number of policemen or Customs personnel killed during the attack.  Nnamdi Omoni, the south –south Commissioner of Police  was said to have ordered  a full –scale investigation  into the  into the attack to unravel  those behind the incident to face the full weight of the Law.              

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