PHOTOS: Black Day As Nigerian Troops Attack Imo Communities; One Killed, Several Houses Burnt
Information reaching Ibom Focus says that Black Day As Nigerian Troops Attack Imo Communities; One Killed, Several Houses Burnt
No fewer than one person has been killed during an invasion of a community in Imo State, Southeast Nigeria by Nigerian Army personnel.
Several houses and business premises were also reportedly destroyed when the troops invaded Orsu-Ihiteukwa, Awo-Idemili, and Eziawa communities in the Orsu Local Government Area of the state, NOHR reports.
According to the report, residents accused the troops of operating in armoured vehicles, and helicopter gunships as they opened fire on residents Friday morning.
Subsequently, many residents fled the community following the attack.
NOHR said it has several photos and videos showing the aftermath of the attack. In the videos, residents could be seen wailing and inspecting the destruction that befell their homes and business premises.
One of the videos shows a military helicopter hovering over the community. The dead body of a young man said to be from Umuawa in Uruala village, in the Eziawa community could be seen in a separate video. He was allegedly killed during the military attack.
A resident was quoted as saying, “Today, the military yet again invaded my community Orsu-Ihiteukwa and some neighbouring communities like Awo-Idemili and Eziawa including Anambra State neighbouring communities like Lilu and Orsumoghu both in Ihiala LGA of Anambra State as early as 5 am and carried out heavy shootings and bombardment.
“They went to my community market called Ekeututu International Market and set ablaze over 40 shops thereby destroying the source of livelihood of many people.
“Just barely three weeks ago, precisely on the 30th of August 2022, they carried out an operation that took the lives of three persons, one of whom was my kinsman with his boss and a friend. They were at a block industry site where they were moulding blocks along Ekeututu Ihitenansa Road in Ekeututu market. The third victim was an old man in his seventies who ran an electrical shop in the Ekeututu market. They accosted his shop as he could not run away for safety during the invasion but when they saw he was an old man, they shot him in both legs and abandoned him in front of his shop. He died hours later.”
“The army tagged my kinsman and his boss as IPOB and Eastern Security Network ( ESN) members who are planting IEDs and also possess rocket launchers. This is most unfortunate as there was no truth in that allegation.”
A statement by Sir Ifeanyi Ejiofor, Esq. (KSC), one of the lawyers of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on Sunday, confirmed the attack.
It described the affected area as a ghost town following the invasion by the troops.
“Orsu-Ihiteukwa is a community in Orsu Local Government Area (LGA) of Imo state. According to verifiable and credible eyewitness accounts, this hitherto peaceful community was this weekend, invaded by the combined team of Governor Hope Uzodinma’s Ebubeagu Security outfit and the Nigerian Army.
“It is heart-rending that at this period of economic downturn, the only available daily market in the community, where the downtrodden go to for communal trade, in search of their daily bread was completely razed to the ground, and homes burnt by these evil monsters acting on behalf of the state Government.
“Indigenes of the community were thrown into this unexpected horror, and out of fear, they fled from their very own ancestral homes. Right now, Orsu-Ihiteukwa is a ghost town,” the statement said in part.
It continued, “We are asking the Governor of Imo state – could there be any justification, whatsoever, under any known law in Nigeria, as well as the international jurisprudence, that sanctioned this oppressive, barbaric, wicked, soulless and evil destruction of the lives and properties of his own people that he swore to protect?
“Was it an engagement strategy, envisaged, permitted and consequently, sanctioned within the Operational Rules of Engagement of the Nigerian Security Agents? The answer is capital NO.
“Furthermore, if the overzealous Security Agents are in hot chase of targeted criminal elements, can’t they profile and define their targets? Can this oppressive conduct occur in any other region or part of Nigeria?
“Remember, Governor Hope Uzodinma that power is transient, it does not last forever! You must not also forget that you will definitely give account of your stewardship someday and one day, very certainly, before the International Criminal Court of Justice.
“These monumental atrocities, genocidal killing of innocent lives, destruction of properties, and obvious crimes against humanity, brazenly perpetrated and superintended under Governor Hope Uzodinma’s watch with reckless abandon/impunity is extremely cruel and the evidence abound.
“Again, we continue to call on responsible Foreign Governments and Foreign Institutions to prevail on the Nigerian Government, under whose domain these crimes against humanity are being perpetrated on a daily basis, to call their lawless Security Agents to order.
“The actions of the Nigerian Security Agents in conjunction with the Governor’s Ebubeagu Security outfit is not only barbaric and wicked, but totally condemnable.
“We, therefore, call for the immediate arrest and prosecution of all those involved in these inhuman, wicked, and barbaric acts.
“Enough is enough! We urge the Governor of Imo State to retrace his steps and embrace peace, for the overall well-being of his State and people. The incessant blood of the innocent being spilled in the State cry to the God of Justice for vengeance.”
Orsu communities in the local government area have witnessed a series of army and police bombardments since 2001 following the presence of ESN/IPOB militants in the communities.
On 30th August 2022, Military spokesman Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu told newsmen that soldiers from 34 Artillery Brigade, alongside the Nigerian Navy, Air Force, and other security agencies killed two members of ESN while on a raid operation along Eke Ututu – Ihitte Nansa Road in Orsu Local Government Area of Imo State. The Army spokesman said the soldiers recovered several Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) planted along the road and locally fabricated rocket launchers during the operations.
The military spokesman said Eke Ututu— market has become a flash point as dissidents often ambush troops using explosives and firearms from within and around the market, while troops are on routine patrol.
The army authorities have not commented on the latest round of attack which left several buildings burnt and at least one civilian dead.