While attempting to enforce a sit- at- home order at the Awo- Mmamma community in the Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State, soldiers from the Nigerian Army carrying out Exercise Golden Dawn dispersed some gunmen suspected of being members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, or IPOB, and its security network, the Eastern Security Network (ESN).
In a statement acquired by SaharaReporters on Tuesday, Major Abubakar Abdullahi, the Acting Deputy Director of Army Public Relations, made the revelation in a statement.
” Troops conducting Exercise GOLDEN DAWN dispersed IPOB/ESN hoodlums carrying out arson while implementing the banned group’ s illegal Sit- at- Home order at AWO- MMAMMA Community, Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State on November 22, 2021, ” he stated.
” In order to persuade residents to obey the illegal order, IPOB/ESN criminals harassed, intimidated, and physically abused commuters going about their lawful business. ” In retaliation for the locals’ refusal to comply with the illegal command, the criminals set fire to shops and residences at Ishieke junction (along the Owerri- Onitsha expressway).
The hoodlums, who had previously blocked the roadway, set fire to a commercial vehicle on its way to Onitsha. Responding quickly to distress calls from motorists and store owners, vigilant troops arrived on the spot and engaged the hoodlums in a shootout. The military surrounded the thugs, forcing them to flee in several directions.
The forces tracked the hoodlums to their hideout in Oru East LGA’ s Akatta Community, where one of the group’ s members was killed in a gunfight. While the troops fought the hoodlums in their hideout, other members of the organization gathered at Ishieke intersection and set fire to the homes and businesses of law- abiding locals, claiming that some individuals had offered information to the army.
The troops returned to the intersection to disperse the hoodlums once more. Unfortunately, in the name of the people, a valiant soldier paid the ultimate price.
” It is on record that there has been a spike in criminalities such as kidnapping, car hijacking, robbery, unjustified killing, and arson in Imo State since the tragic events of April 5, 2021, when some unscrupulous individuals raided the Custodial Centre in Owerri and liberated over 1, 800 convicts. ” Since then, these criminal groups have wreaked havoc throughout the state and its environs. “