By Kingsley omonobi
Troops of 82 division Nigerian Army have arrested 20 suspects said to be members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) made up of 16 men and 4 women and they have all been handed over to the Nigerian Police force.
Col Aliyu Yusuf, Deputy Director, Army Public Relations made the disclosure on Monday while giving an update “on the activities of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) members”.
He said, “Through its unreasonable demand for secession IPOB have continued to interrupt on the security situation in 34 Brigade Area of Responsibility.
Col Yusuf said, “The activities of the threat elements have led to an increase in organized crimes such as Armed Robbery, Kidnapping and other sundry criminal violent acts.
“Recently, there have been various attacks on civilians, Police and military personnel on check points and escort duty.
“It is as a result of the activities of these criminal elements that appropriate superior authority directed the conduct of aggressive patrol within the general area to safeguard lives and property of law abiding citizens.
“On Thursday 7 January 2021, following incessant robbery and killing of civilian and security operatives by suspected IPOB militia within Orlu Senatorial Zone, troops of 34 Brigade were deployed in Orlu and its environs to commence effective Patrol and dominance of the general area to forestall the activities of IPOB.
“On Thursday 7 January 2021 own troops in conjunction with Nigeria Police conducted a Raid Operation of a suspected hideout of the Armed Group in Umutanze Community in Orlu Local Government.
“An SUV Lexus 330 with Registration Number Lagos KRD 320 EY was intercepted with 5 occupants, suspected to be members of IPOB. On sighting own troops 4 of the occupants absconded, however One Mr. Freedom Udochukwu Nwachukwu was arrested and handed over to the Police for further interrogation.
“On Friday 22 January 2021, troops of 34 Brigade in conjunction with the Imo State Police Command carried out raids in Okporo/Ezenta and Akata axis of Orlu Local Government Area to recover corpse of Police Officer killed by Member of IPOB.
“During the raids operations, 1 IPOB member was killed and 1 Jeep Vehicle was recovered. Various IPOB Training Camp was discovered and destroyed.
“On Monday 25 January 202, own troops were ambushed at Banana Junction, Orlu Local Government Area by members of IPOB while escorting Army Headquarters Team led by Director Civil Affairs, Brigadier General HE Nzan who came to inspect Nigerian Army Civil Military Cooperation Project at Nkwerre.
“IPOB Militia attacked own troops and during the encounter, 4 escort soldiers were killed and 4 AK47 got missing. 1 Hillux Vehicle was recovered.
“In a Similar Development, On Wed 17 February 2021, Based on accurate Intelligence Reports, Raid Operation was conducted in the Forest Close to Lilu Village in Ihiala General Area of Anambra State by Combined Troops of Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air Force and the Nigeria Police.
“The Operation commenced with Air Strike at about 171750A February 21 from Mi-35 Combat Helicopter on confirmation of the IPOB Camp/Hideout, while Ground Troops engaged the escaping IPOB criminals.
“Thereafter Troops exploited further into the IPOB Camp. The Militia were suspected to have escaped with their dead and varying degrees of gunshot injured members, taking advantage of the poor visibility during the preceding operation.
“However 2 IPOB Militia were seen dead and troop completely burnt down their Camp. Items and Equipment Recovered from IPOB Training Camp include 1 AK47, 1 Local Made Pistol, 1 Dane Gun, 5 Local Cartridge Ammo, 2 IPOB Flags, 1 ESN Flag, 1 IPOB Sign Post, 1 Gen BTY, 1 Vehicle Battery, 1 Water Pumping Machine, 4 GD Black Belt, 1 Military Fragmental Jacket, 1 Mobile Handset, I Ladies Motorcycle, 4 Twine Rope, 1 Chain Saw.
Items recovered were handed over to the Police Headquarters Owerri for further necessary action.