A combined team of security operatives raided the secret camp of the Eastern Security Network (ESN), the armed wing of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) at Akpawfu community in Nkanu East local government area of Enugu state on Friday killing several members of the group.
The casualty figure could not be ascertained as of the time of filling this report. According to an eye witness the heavy sound of gunfire was being heard from the area and within the communities of Akpugo and Amagunze.
The ESN members were said to have stiffly resisted the Nigerian security operatives from accessing their camp, engaging them in a gun battle which our source said lasted for several hours.
Residents of the three communities were said to have fled their homes and sought refuge in the bush for fear of being arrested by the military men, who reportedly made several arrests.
According to the words of an eye witness; “As I am talking to you now Akpawfu and neighboring communities of Akpugo and Amagunze have been deserted as the security men have invaded the entire area searching for the ESN members. The heavy sound of gunfire we are hearing could be likened to that of a raging war.
“There is confusion everywhere and we hope that the innocent residents who have nothing to do with the outlawed group are not made to suffer for the offense they did not commit,” an eye witness told our correspondent.
Our source gathered that the raid on the Nkanu communities followed a tip off that the gunmen that attacked a police checkpoint at Obeagu/Amodu axis on the Amechi – Agbani road on Wednesday evening operated from the ESN camp at Akpawfu.
As learnt by our credible source, three vehicles used by the gunmen during the attack on the checkpoint that claimed six lives including four policemen, were discovered by the police on Thursday. The recovered vehicles are now parked at the Police Headquarters in Enugu and the recovered vehicles include a Hilux van with sirens and a Highlander SUV fully tinted.
Another car which reportedly fell into a ditch on the Akpofu road during the recovery exercise was said to have been set ablaze by the gunmen, a security source stated this on Friday.
Meanwhile, efforts to get official comments from the state police command on Friday during the encounter between the security operatives and the ESN members was not successful by the time of filling this report. Enugu State Police Public Relations Officer, Daniel Ndukwe said he was yet to be briefed about the incident.
Akpawfu is a town in Nkanu East local government area of Enugu state. It is made up of three main villages: Obodo Uvuru, Isiagu and Ajame-agu. The traditional ruler is Igwe Dume Nnamoko a.k.a. Uvuru I of Obodo Uvuru. It has two main streams which include Iyaba and Etavu. Akpawfu has border with Amagunze, Akpugo and Oruku.