Nigerian soldiers
Soldiers

Defence Headquarters of the Nigerian Army has said it’s soldiers killed scores of people in 14-day raid of South East and South geopolitical zones.

This comes amid allegations of extrajudicial killings by the soldiers in the zone.

The Army, however, said the people killed were criminals linked to the outlawed Independent Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and their Eastern Security Network (ESN) counterparts.

The killings, according Brig-Gen Bernard Onyeuko, acting director of Defence media operations, came in different military operations between June 3 and 16 to contain several IPOB and ESN activities, including attacks on police stations, killing of security operatives and civilians and destruction of property.

Raids

On June 4, operatives raided a hideout at Ukpong in Obot Akara Local Government Area of Akwa-Ibom on a dislodgement operation.

On the same day, troops engaged and repelled “some IPOB/ESN hoodlums” who attacked Okposi town in Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi and the Criminal Investigation Department, Abia Police Command.

On June 5, troops repelled “IPOB hoodlum attack” on commuters along Igbo-Etiti – Nsukka Road in Enugu State.

On the same day, troops tracked and apprehended some hoodlums who vandalised and stole railroad sleepers at Nkwubor Road within Emene in Enugu East Local Government Area of the state, said Onyeuko.

Non-kinetic option

The spokesperson also said that the Federal Government had engaged in an extra-ordinary non-kinetic approach to the seemingly intractable security challenges in the Southeast.

On June 11, defence minister Maj-Gen Bashir Magashi, led a delegation to Enugu for a security meeting with stakeholders in the zone.

“During the summit, a whole range of security challenges were discussed with governors of the Southeast states, religious leaders, traditional rulers, opinion leaders and other stakeholders in attendance,” said Onyeuko.

“The discussions and decisions reached at the end of the security summit were far reaching and would go a long way in bringing peace to the region,’’ he said.

Herdsmen menace

Onyeuko said that in the Southwest zone, troops of Operation AWATSE had sustained their operations against criminal elements to restore law and order to troubled areas.

He said that the troops repelled armed herdsmen attack at Igangan community in Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State on June 5.

According to him, troops mobilised to the scene and engaged the herdsmen, during which some of them were neutralised while others fled with gunshot wounds.

He said that the troops raided some criminals’ hideouts at Ona-Ara Local Government Area of the state and arrested suspects on June 7.