Troops of the Nigerian Army have arrested some persons in Akwa Ibom suspected to be members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its security arm, Eastern Security Network (ESN).
The suspects were arrested at Essien Udim LGA of the state based on credible intelligence which identified them as part of those burning police stations and killing people in the area.
This was confirmed to Naija News in a statement on Wednesday by the Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brig-Gen Benard Onyeuko while giving an account of the operational efforts of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies conducting operations to tackle insecurity in Nigeria.
The highlight covers operational activities across the Country between 20 May and 2 June 2021.
The troops also repelled an attack by the IPOB/ESN members in Enugu State and arrested one other suspected member at Ikot Akpan Town in Essien Udim LGA of Akwa-Ibom State.
An IPOB/ESN operative was also killed in Enugu State while some members of the Scorpion Fraternity were also arrested in Cross River State during the period under review.
He said: “In other encounters, own troops in Ikot Ekpene area arrested some IPOB/ESN members at Essien Udim LGA of Akwa-Ibom State following credible intelligence on the hoodlums’ activities in the area.”
“The suspects were identified to be part of the IPOB/ESN members involved in killing and burning of policemen and stations in the area.”
“Also, troops arrested some members of the Scorpion Confraternity, who have been terrorizing and robbing people at Ikong-Offiong in Akpabayo LGA of Cross River State.”
“Relatedly, troops on 23 May 2021 repelled members of IPOB/ESN attack on troops at Amoka Village in Udi LGA of Enugu State.”
“During the encounter, a member of the IPOB/ESN was neutralized in contact and some arms and ammunition were recovered.”
“Furthermore, troops arrested some members of IPOB/ESN, including one Mr Black who has been on security operatives wanted list, at Ikot Akpan Town in Essien Udim LGA of Akwa-Ibom State.”
“The criminals are reportedly among those responsible for the current wave of attacks, killings and burning of police operatives and stations in the Southern part of the Country. The hoodlums have been handed over to appropriate prosecuting agencies for necessary action.”
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army has debunked reports flying around that there will be a mass retirement in the military.
Naija News reports that there have been assertions following the appointment of the new Chief of Army Staff, Major General Farouk Yahaya, that no fewer than fifty-five major generals would be retired.
Recall that Yahaya was appointed as the new COAS on May 27 by President Muhammadu Buhari, following the demise of his predecessor, Lt General Ibrahim Attahiru, who died in a plane crash alongside other army officers in Kaduna State.
According to military tradition, the new COAS, who is of Course 37 junior to the 25 major generals whose names were contained in the alleged retirement list, cannot superintend over them.