The Nigerian Army (NA) has said its troops of 82 Division Enugu under the auspices of Operation UDO KA II in conjunction with the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Department of State Services (DSS) and other security agencies raided hideouts of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra and Eastern Security Network (IPOB/ESN), killing and arresting its notorious commander who threatened to unleash mayhem in Enugu State.
The troops also arrested an ambazonian separatist gunrunner and four accomplices comprising two Nigerians and two Cameroonians during a sting operation in Cross River State.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, in a statement said the troops on Thursday conducted a raid operation into the hideouts of IPOB and its armed affiliate, ESN, at Imufu in Igbo-Eze North local government area of Enugu State.
He said during the operation, troops encountered with the irredentist fighters but subdued the group with superior firepower, neutralising two fighters and recovered three Semi Automatic Pump Action Rifles and a locally fabricated single barrel gun.
In a similar vein, troops, in conjunction with DSS on the same day, arrested a notorious ESN Commander, Mr Ezege, in a separate sting operation at Obinagu in Udi local government area of Enugu State.
The Army spokesman said, “the arrested ESN Commander, recently threatened to unleash mayhem in Enugu state via his viral video and audio message circulated on some social media platforms.”
He added that the ESN Commander is currently in custody of the military for further investigations.
In another engagement, General Nwachukwu said troops of 130 Battalion operating in 13 Brigade area of responsibility under 82 Division Nigerian Army, in collaboration with DSS on Wednesday, August 9, 2023 busted a notorious syndicate of gunrunners at Obudu motorcycle park in Obudu local government area of Cross River state.
He said the operation followed credible intelligence revealing the illicit activities of the gunrunners in Obudu and Biaju general areas in the State.
“In the sting operation, the leader of the gun running syndicate was nabbed alongside his accomplices, including two Nigerians and two Cameroonians,” he said.
He added that during preliminary investigations, “it was revealed that the accomplices purchased firearms, which they in turn sell to a middleman, who supplies the arms and ammunition to Ambazonian Separatists in the Republic of Cameroon.”
General Nwachukwu noted, therefore, that a subsequent operation on Thursday, August 10, 2023, led to the arrest of the gunrunning kingpin, Raphael a.k.a Biajua, a Cameroonian, at Biajua community in Boki LGA of Cross River State.
The troops also recovered four Semi Automatic Pump Action Rifles and four mobile phones.
The Army spokesman called on members of the public to remain vigilant and report any untoward activity to the security agencies, in support of ongoing operations to curb security challenges.
“The good and enterprising people of the South East Nigeria are also encouraged to discountenance the illegal sit-at-home order
and go about their daily activities and businesses without fear of intimidation, as ongoing operations will be sustained to counter the enforcement of the unlawful order,” he stated.