Nigerian Air Force fighter jets under the air component of Operation Udo Ka have reportedly bombed the armories and camps of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Anambra and neighboring and Imo state. The fighter jets according to a statement by Nigerian Air Force spokesman, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, The Nigerian Air Force carried out several airstrikes on the IPOB fighters hideouts in Mother Valley Orsumoghu in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State and at Aku Ihube in Okigwe Local Government Area of Imo State.
Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet noted in the statement that the air operations were conducted following credible intelligence report that the fighters had finalized plans to unleash mayhem on the residents and other states in the region. He, however, said that some of the bombed locations were fingered to be the armouries of the separatist movement. Part of the statement reads; “Aircraft under the Air Component of Operation Udo Ka II, on Tuesday, September 26, 2023, carried out several strikes on IPOB/ESN locations at Mother Valley Orsumughu in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State and at Aku Ihube in Okigwe Local Government Area of Imo State. The strikes at both locations achieved their intended outcome and were deemed effective.
“Acting on credible intelligence that IPOB/ESN fighters had perfected plans to disrupt civic activities lined up in the coming days in Anambra State and other states in the Southeast region of Nigeria from their concealed bunkers/hideouts at Mother Valley Orsumughu, air strikes were authorized in conjunction with ground troops and other security agencies on the location believed to also house some of their weapons and ammunitions. The strikes hit the target and were deemed successful following the ball of fire, fleeing IPOB fighters at the location as well as feedback received. ”
“Air strikes were also conducted on, the same day, in close coordination with surface forces at IPOB/ESN hideout camps in Aku Ihube In Imo State after a detailed analysis of intelligence on the IPOB fighters converging at their hideout. Consequently, air strikes were also authorised to strike the hideout. The targets were acquired and attacked in succession, with a high degree of success,” the statement concluded.
Meanwhile, the Bishop of Anglican Diocese of Enugu, Most Rev. Emmanuel Chukwuma, during the thanksgiving of Ohanaeze Ndigbo at the church’s cathedral restated the call for Nnamdi Kanu release to restore peace in the south east zone. Also Okeke who is a stakeholder in Ihioma, Orlu Local Government Area of Imo state, talking about the insecurity in the South East region stated that it is within the power of the Federal Government of Nigeria to end insecurity in the south eastern region.
He, therefore, called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to as a matter of urgency direct the release of the IPOB leader, who had been freed by courts of competent jurisdiction in the country. Okeke described Nnamdi Kanu as a respected personality in Igboland, saying that “if he is released, he may be able to address the ongoing insecurity through his words alone.”
He added that a region experiencing marginalization should not be further suppressed. According to his words; “It is evident that the Federal Government of Nigeria is seemingly enjoying from the insecurity resulting from Nnamdi Kanu arrest and the subsequent killings in the Southeast, as they have failed to demonstrate their presence or exhibit genuine concern.
“The actions of the Federal Government give the impression that the Southeast is not considered a part of Nigeria’s territory. I humbly suggest that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu should seek a political resolution in the release of Nnamdi Kanu, who is currently held as a political prisoner in Nigeria. By doing so, peace can swiftly be restored. Once he is released, any other individual instigating trouble will be singled out, allowing for a clear understanding of whom they are fighting for.
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu should seize this opportunity to accomplish what President Buhari failed to do, as he was hindered by his adherence to the old order, which prioritizes vengeance. By doing so, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu can establish a name for himself,” Okeke stated.
However, the ex-governor of Imo state, Ikedi Ohakim has responded to those accusing the incumbent governor of Imo state, Hope Uzodinma of being responsible for the insecurity in the state. According to him, Hope Uzodinma is also a victim of insecurity. Ikedi Ohakim stated this during an interview with Daily Sun.
Speaking further, Ikedi Ohakim insisted that Imo state does not have the highest crime rate in the Southeast. According to his words; “On security, my worry is that some of our people, including members of the elite, create the impression that it is a peculiar problem to the state. Some even go further to insinuate that the governor deliberately hoists insecurity on the state. Nothing can be more nonsensical. Governor Hope Uzodimma is, himself, a victim of insecurity in the state. I am also a victim. I am in a position to know that the government is doing everything possible to tackle the situation. I can assure you that the government is on top of the situation.
“As a matter of fact, verifiable statistics with the Nigeria Police does not show that Imo has the highest number of crime in the Southeast. As a private citizen, I move around the Southeast and I can say without any fear of contradiction that on the matter of insecurity, our dear state, Imo, is not worse. That does not mean that we should give any room for complacency but we should not blackmail ourselves and act in a manner that would rubbish the collective integrity of our dear state and its people.
“I have been personally involved in several meetings on the matter of insecurity in the Southeast and I know that the governors are doing quite a lot. Whether we like it or not, the matter rests squarely on the shoulders of the Federal Government; which is why I would once again restate my position that we need state police,“ he stated.
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