The state of insecurity in Imo State has entered an alarming dimension following disturbing reports of the involvement of explosives by suspected unknown gunmen who are yet to leave the state, even as two have been killed in one of the communities.
Since the activities of hoodlums known as Unknown Gunmen domiciled in Imo after Easter Monday’s attack on police headquarters and Prisons Owerri, insecurity has become part of Imo with regular unsavoury incidents recorded.
Even as claims by the state government that the criminal elements have been checked from constituting nuisance in the society, reports from security agencies, Trumpeta sourced, indicate that the criminals, branded unknown gunmen, accused to be members of IPOB/ESN are still part of the Imo and may have devised another dangerous form to unleash mayhem to the people.
Going by what the Nigerian Army officials said and Wednesday morning report of killings in Egbema part of Ohaji/Egbema LGA of Imo, indications are high that the suspected unknown gunmen are still around and wrecking havoc.
According to the recent release of the Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, there was an attempt by the suspected unknown gunmen, the force branded terrorists to inflict injuries on two communities in Imo.
Army statement during the week stated that “Troops conducting Exercise GOLDEN DAWN Sector 3 have thwarted an attempt by members of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its armed wing, Eastern Security Network (ESN) to unleash mayhem on residents of Mgbidi and Awo Mmamma communities in Oru East Local Government Area of Imo state. The group targeted terrorizing the people for lawfully refusing to observe the illegal sit-at-home order foisted on them on Monday 6 November 2021.
“The swift response of troops compelled the attackers, mounted on two Sienna Buses and a Toyota Hilux truck to abandon their mission and withdrew in disarray. Troops are currently on the trail of the criminals.
“In a separate development, troops have uncovered four Improvised Explosive Devices planted by members of the proscribed IPOB/ ESN, in their desperate effort to inflict harm on unsuspecting motorists and other road users along Orlu – Owerri road. The vigilant troops, who were on a reinforcement mission to Mgbidi/Awo Mmama detected the IEDs planted at about 15 meters apart on both sides of the road and safely defused them. No casualty was recorded during the diffusion.
“The troops also recovered four wraps of unexploded ordnances, one motor cycle battery, two vehicle alarm devices, one detonator, wires and batteries. The road has been safely cleared and motorists have resumed plying the road.
“We urge all law abiding citizens to go about their normal businesses and disregard the illegal sit at home order. We also appeal to the good people of Mgbidi, Awo Mmama and Omuma Communities to report any suspected movement of members of the irredentist group, who may be seeking a safe haven, to relevant security agencies”
Similarly, gunmen have murdered not less than two persons when they invaded Etekwuru autonomous community in the Ohaji/ Egbema Local Government Area of Imo state early Thursday morning.
Trumpeta learnt that apart from the loss of lives, the invaders destroyed properties and left some villagers injured before fleeing away.
Though the identity of the attackers has not been ascertained as at press time but information has it that the manner of the attack is peculiar to that of unknown gunmen.