Troops have thwarted an attempt by suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its security arm, the Eastern Security Network (ESN), to attack residents of Mgbidi and Awo Mmamma communities in Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State.
The Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General, Onyema Nwachukwu, said the group was terrorising the people for lawfully refusing to observe the illegal sit-at-home order foisted on them on Monday.
He said in a statement: “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.”
Nwachukwu said the troops also uncovered four improvised explosive devices (IEDs) planted by suspected members of IPOB/ ESN targeting unsuspecting motorists and other road users along the Orlu-Owerri road.
“The vigilant troops, who were on a reinforcement mission to Mgbidi/Awommama, detected the IEDs planted at about 15 meters apart on both sides of the road and safely defused them
“The road has been safely cleared and motorists have resumed plying the road.
“We urge all law abiding citizens to go about their normal business and disregard the illegal sit-at-home order.
“We also appeal to the good people of Mgbidi, Awommama 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.”
IPOB has blamed “impostors” for the attacks that followed its cancellation of the sit-at-home, which was declared in protest of the detention of its leader Nnamdi Kanu.
But the Army accused IPOB of deception, saying the sit-at-home was still being enforced by the group.