The Nigerian Army on Thursday confirmed that its troops alongside helicopters of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) carried out the air and land operations which cause panic in Orlu and Orsu Local Government Areas of Imo State.
Spokesperson of 34 Artillery Brigade, Obinze, Owerri, Imo state, Babatunde Zubairu, who confirmed the deployment of helicopters and other military gadgets in the operations, said it was to root out activities inimical to the peace and progress of the area.
The military operations was in search of the camps allegedly occupied by elements of the Eastern Security Network (ESN) powered by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Saying that no locals were harassed during the operations, the Army Spokesperson said that the operation was an offshoot of military intelligence.
But the surprise operation set up panic all across the Orlu zone of Imo State and the neighbouring parts of Anambra State.
An indigene of Uda Orsuihiteukwa in the Orlu Local Government Area, while admitting that no indigene was shot in the military ground and air operations, said that it caused serious panic in the area.
According to him, “the situation is now calm in Udah, Orsuihiteukwa. Military helicopters have left my area a while ago after the surveillance mission. All security vans have left the Udah community for their respective bases.
“Civilians were not in any way harassed in the exercise. No casualties. The invasion may have been warranted by intelligence reports.
“The leaders and office bearers from Orlu zone should address this security instability in our zone now. This is not healthy for the progress and advancement of the biggest senatorial zone in Nigeria.”
First published in PUNCH