Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has asked the Chief of the Army Staff, Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru, to tackle operatives of the Eastern Security Network (ESN) in the South-south state.
Naija News reports that ESN and members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) had recently launched an operation in Eleme forests to force out Fulani herdsmen who had reportedly taken over people’s farms.
The Chief of Army Staff, who is in Rivers State on an operational visit to Units under the 6th division of the Nigerian Army was today received at the Executive Chamber of the Rivers State Government House.
Wike, who was represented by his deputy, Ipalibo Banigo, asked the Army chief to deal with criminals and the current security challenges in the state.
“The governor met with the army chief through his deputy in order not to raise much obvious suspicion that he contacted the military to flush out the ESN and IPOB (Indigenous People of Biafra) irritants in his state.
“But he did mention in his remarks to the army that he was confident about Attahiru’s capability to tackle the current security situation bedevilling the country. That was a subtle go-ahead to deal with the gunmen in Eleme,” a source revealed.
The army on Wednesday confirmed that Attahiru was in Rivers State, while branding it a “familiarisation visit to units and formations in the Nigerian Army.”
“The Chief of Army Staff on Tuesday paid his maiden operational visit to Headquarters, 6 Division, Port Harcourt, where he charged the officers and soldiers to key into his vision to have an army which is repositioned to defeat all adversaries.
“The COAS also visited 6 Division and Land Component Soldiers of Operation Delta Safe at 29 Battalion parade ground, Port Harcourt Barracks. In his address to the troops on parade, he assured them of his readiness to properly address all the challenges they are facing and further disclosed that the GOC had already briefed him on some of the challenges which he assured them would be addressed in due time.
“He urged them to remain loyal and professional in the discharge of their duties and emphasised his readiness to commend outstanding soldiers, as well as punish those found wanting,” the army’s Director of Public Relations, Brig Gen Mohammed Yerima, said in a statement on Wednesday.