From Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
The raging war between the Eastern Security Network (ESN) escalated yesterday in Ogboro, Orlu, Imo State as 10 residents were allegedly killed by the Nigeria soldier while over 13 houses and shops were razed.
An eye witness who disclosed this to our correspondent claimed that the soldiers who were initially drafted to dismantle the formations of the ESN got resisted by the superior forces of the IPOB vigilante allegedly killing one of the soldiers in the process.
The soldiers in anger were said to have retreated and came back for a reprisal attack, shooting sporadically and killing some of the residents.
“This was what happened, the soldiers came back to search for the vigilante people that killed their colleague, but in the process started shooting everybody they see, I can’t actually say how many have died, they are many but I think I counted over ten.”
Media and Publicity Secretary of IPOB, Emma Powerful responding to the incident said “I have said it time without number, did we go to their barracks to look for their trouble or they came into our forest to attack us.
“We shall not condone this any longer, we would not allow them to kill us again, we wouldn’t allow what happened in Obigbo to happen again in Biafra land. They can’t kill us because we have not done anything to them other than to protect our land and forest, they are just killing innocent civilians.” Powerful alleged.
So far, so many of the people from the troubled area have fled their homes as the skirmishes continue between the soldiers and ESN the
Meanwhile, the Igbo National Council (INC) has expressed feared that if the crisis is not quickly resolved, it may escalate to other parts of Imo community.
National President of INC, comrade Chilos Godsent who allay the fear in a statement he issued to newsmen also urged the Inspector General of Police to depoy their men to the crisis prone areas while he advised that the military should be withdrawn to avoid further damages.
“It may not be to the best interest of the Imo State and Federal Government of Nigeria to militarize any part of the Igbo Nation in disguise of fighting pro-Biafra agitators.
“We note that the Nigerian Police has the capacity to tackle criminalities in any part of Nigeria well mobilized and given free hand to operate.
“We urge the Federal Government of Nigeria to immediately redeploy these soldiers ravaging Orlu Communities and send them to the various highways where the Fulani Herdsmen are presently terrorizing, raping and killing Nigerians.
“We fear that if the ongoing violent conflict is not quickly resolved, it might escalate to other communities in Imo State.” Godsent said.
However in a bid to quel the tensed atmospher in the troubled community, Governor Hope Uzoddimma has imposed a dusk to dusk curfew in 9 Local Government Areas.
Uzodimma said “This afternoon I received a disturbing news that some millitants were killing and maiming the people of Orlu, this is a break down of law and order, it’s unacceptable to the government, those who are responsible will regret their action.
I have directed security agents to fish them out , in the interim to calm the place, security agents have been deployed to patrol the place, a dusk to dusk curfew beginning from 6 pm to 6 am have been imposed , anybody found violating it will be dealt with. The areas the curfew is imposed are Ideato north , Ideato south, Nkwere, Orlu, Orsu, Isu, Oru West and Oru East.
Security have been deployed to enforce the curfew, however I want to assure you that the security agencies will be there for them to go about their lawful business, I assure you those behind it will not go unpunished.