MEMBERS of the Indigenous People of Biafra’s (Ipob) security militia group the Eastern Security Network (ESN) had fled from their camp in the forests of Orsu Local Government Area of Imo State following the arrival of the Nigerian military in the area
Created by Ipob, ESN was put together as a regional security initiative to protect the southeast geo-political zone from the activities of Fulani cattle herdsmen. Over recent years, these heavily-armed herdsmen have been engaged in kidnapping, rape, banditry and gruesome murders involving them ransacking villages across the country.
In its first major confrontation with the herdsmen earlier this month, ESN operatives chased the pastoralists away from Isiukwuato, killing dozens of their cattle. Ipob leader Nnamdi Kanu, said that ESN operatives were seen burning houses and cows allegedly belonging to the herdsmen.
However, in response to the actions of the ESN, Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State invited the Nigerian Army along to flush them out. Over the weekend a combined team of military, police and air force personnel raided the ESN camps inside the forests near Udah village in Orsu Local Government Area.
Apparently, a combined military operation which led to the capture of the ESN camp in Udah village was led by a deputy commissioner of police Abba Kyari. Mr Kyari, who led the team to the forest on Friday, met very stiff resistance from very prepared ESN operatives.
It took the intervention of the military, who came later in the night for the ESN operatives to be subdued. By the time the military units accessed the camp, no single ESN operative was seen.
One source said: “The Abba Kyari team exhausted their strength and asked for help from the military. By the time the military could mobilise and come through the air in the night, the ESN operatives had vacated the camp, which is located in a valley.”
“The team, by the time they had access to the camp, couldn’t find any ESN operative. They only found a fish pond, a generator, mattresses, cooking utensils and clothes.”