A former Nigerian Minister of Education has queried the deployment of battalion of soldiers against and operatives of the Eastern Security Network, ESN, in Orlu, Imo State.
Oby Ezekwesili reacted to the clash between soldiers and ESN operatives that had allegedly resulted in the death of some persons, while scores were wounded.
The clash was said to have occurred during a military operation in the community suspected to be the operational base of ESN.
ESN is a regional security outfit recently launched by Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.
Reacting to the development, Ezekwesili urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian Army to give reason for the military presence in the town.
Her tweets read: “Can the @HQNigerianArmy please communicate what’s going on here in Orlu Town to the public?
“It certainly has the appearance of a war scene. Is an entire town under combat operation from our Military?
“Can the C-in-C let Nigerians know who ordered this operation?”
Meanwhile, the State Governor Hope Uzodinma also condemned the attack which he said led to the killing and maiming of innocent citizens on Monday, ordering security agencies to without fail fish out the perpetrators and bring them to book.
In a bid to restore peace in Orlu, Governor Uzodimma has imposed curfew in some local government areas.
“This afternoon, I received a very disturbing report on the activities of a group of militants who unleashed a shooting spree in the Orlu area of the state, killing and maiming innocent citizen in the process,” the Governor said.
“I am totally appalled by this sad report which appears to paint a picture of near breakdown of law and order in the Orlu area. The government condemns in its entirety this act of extreme hooliganism and brigandage.
“This is completely unacceptable to this administration. Those behind this callous barbarism will surely regret their actions.
“Consequently, I have directed the security agencies to fish out without fail, all those behind the carnage and immediately bring them to book. Let no one be in any doubt that the perpetrators of this dastardly act will ever escape justice. I assure them that they will pay for their cruelty against a peace-loving and innocent people.
“As an interim measure to immediately restore the peace in Orlu zone, a dusk to dawn curfew (6 pm to 6 am) is hereby imposed in the following Local Government Areas of Orlu zone; namely; Orlu, Orsu, Oru East, Oru West, Ideato North, Ideato South, Njaba, Isu, Nwangele and Nkwerre.
“All law-abiding citizens are advised to comply strictly with the curfew as announced. Anyone caught violating the curfew will be treated as a suspect.
“The government wants to assure all Imo people that the situation in Orlu area is under control. Security operatives have been deployed on a 24-hour patrol of the zone.
”Equally, every security measure necessary has been put in place to ensure that law-abiding citizens can go about their businesses in the affected areas without any fear of molestation.”