The Imo State Police Command has disclosed that between January and August 2023, it detained over 150 terrorists who belonged to the Independent People of Biafra’s Eastern Security Network, also known as unidentified gunmen.
Residents of Imo and Anambra states as well as some South-Eastern-born Nigerians who recently moved to the South-Western part of the country have revealed how the insurgency brought on by the actions of the group known as the gunmen has caused a large-scale exodus of citizens from the country’s Eastern region.
The police public relations officer for the Imo State Command, Henry Okoye, spoke with our correspondent over the phone and noted that the stop and search directive issued by the CP has decreased IPOB/ESN activity even though the Anambra Police Command spokesperson could not be reached for comment.
“We have been struggling with this for more than three years,” he said.
“The Imo State Police Command, however, is making every effort to secure the state under the direction of Commissioner of Police Mohammed Barde. The security has improved and we have improved patrol.
“The CP has directed Area Commanders and tactical commanders to deploy men and carry out feasibility policing and stop and search in strategic points in the state, and it has helped in reducing the activities of these IPOB and ESN guys.
“Also, we have our officers at the SID that work with the DSS, and it has helped us in gathering credible information that has helped us in raiding and dismantling several IPOB/ESN camps. Because of this, between January this year and now, we have arrested over 150 IPOB and ESN criminal elements, and also those involved in armed robbery and kidnapping in Imo State.
“Imo State is now more secure than it was. The only regions we are currently having trouble with are along the Oguta LGA and Okigwe, which are locations that share a border with neighbouring states. We have already secured Owerri and are working to secure Orlu.
“Some of these rogues used to go from nearby states, cause havoc, and then leave. However, the governor, Hope Uzodinma, has backed us, and we are working to secure all state entrances in order to drive these criminals out.”