The Nigerian military is carrying out airstrikes in Orlu, Imo State to fish out operatives of Eastern Security Network (ESN), a regional security outfit set up by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader Nnamdi Kanu.
In the viral videos, a helicopter belonging to the Nigerian military is seen shooting into communities as residents run in panic for safety.
In one of the videos, a child could be heard crying and calling on the mother.
The ESN operatives in January had a bloody confrontation with the Nigerian Army from Obinze barracks, where four soldiers were reportedly killed.
“Nigerian soldiers are currently conducting aerial strikes in our areas. Many innocent lives may be lost. They are probably looking for ESN operatives who are checking the activities of killer Fulani herdsmen,” a community head told SaharaReporters.
“People’s homes and market places may be affected. We don’t need aircraft in Orlu. They should go and find the stolen school pupils in Niger State,” another angry resident said.
“I have the video. There was an aircraft firing shots possibly in a nearby bush. Very reckless of the airforce; civilians are all over the place,” another person said.
According to SaharaReporters, last December the Nigerian Army deployed combat helicopters, gun trucks, and soldiers to search some suspected forests in the South-East states where the ESN, launched by Nnamdi Kanu, was said to be camping.
SaharaReporters also reported that the military search had been going on for days, and had no time frame, as the army was acting on “orders from above.”
Footage from the drones and hidden cameras believed to be installed by the ESN, had captured the Nigerian Army helicopters and their vehicles and soldiers searching for the camp of the ESN for possible arrests.
The ESN, IPOB’s military arm, was formed to tackle crimes and criminalities in the eastern states, especially the crimes of killer Fulani herdsmen notorious for lurking in the bushes to commit mayhem. Kanu had said the regional security outfit would be just like Amotekun in the South-West.
“The Nigerian Army that is supposed to fight Boko Haram was seen everywhere searching for the camp of Eastern Security Network team. But they forgot they are dealing with sophisticated men. There are cameras and drones everywhere watching them,” an official had said.
Many Nigerians are at a loss over the show of force by the Nigerian military in the Southeast, when in the northern region of the country Boko Haram and killer Fulani herdsmen are running amok and taking lives with reckless abandon.
The Buhari-led government has rather resorted to negotiating with the jihadists up north, and many have received amnesty and loads of cash rewards.
NEWS/PHOTO SOURCE: SaharaReporters | News Agencies