The Nigerian Army on Saturday gave detailed account of how the second-in-command to the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, (IPOB), Ikonson Commander, and six other commanders of the group and Eastern Security Network (ESN) were killed in gun duel Saturday morning.
It coincided with an attack on Governor Hope Uzodinma‘s house at his hometown in Omuma, Oru East local government area of Imo state, by yet to be identified gun men at about 9 am Saturday.
IPOB has confirmed the killing of its Vice president, Ikonson Commander and six others, blaming Governor Uzodinma of being responsible for the killing of Ikonson Commander, who they (IPOB) claimed had turned down offer by the Governor to head the newly formed South East security outfit “EBUBE AGU”.
In a statement by IPOB Publicity Secretary and spokesman, Emma Powerful, the group further vowed to revenge.
The Army, in a statement by its spokesman, Brigadier-General Mohammed Yerima, said: “A combined team of security forces led by troops of the Nigerian Army have raided the operational Headquarters of the IPOB/ESN terrorists in Awomama Village, Oru East LGA of Imo State.
“The early morning raid by troops of Nigerian Army, Nigerian Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT) and operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) was launched in the early hours of Saturday 24 April, 2021, following a detailed intelligence report on the location of the terrorists’ Operational Headquarters and the movement of the overall Commander popularly known as Ikonson Commander.
“The IRT and DSS teams along with troops of 82 Division of the Nigerian Army have been on the trail of the terror group since the unfortunate attacks on the Imo State Police Command and the Owerri Correctional Center on 5 April 2021.
“The said Ikonson Commander who was the mastermind of those attacks in addition to multiple attacks in the South East and South South regions, was neutralised along with 6 of his top Commanders.
“The joint intelligence team had earlier interviewed several arrested IPOB/ESN terrorists in connection with the April 5 attacks and they all confessed that Ikonson Commander who was named as Vice President by their leader, Nnamdi Kanu, was the one that mobilized men and resources as well as ordered and orchestrated the attacks on Owerri.
“They equally revealed that Ikonson was responsible for many other attacks on Police stations across the two geo-political zones.
“The intelligence team later tracked the IPOB/ESN top leader to his exact location in Awomama village where he (Ikonson) and his to Commanders were hibernating and plotting dastardly acts against the Nigerian state.
“On noticing the presence of the joint operations team, IPOB/ESN terrorists brought heavy volume of fire on the raiding team who swiftly responded and overwhelmed them with superior fire power that neutralised Ikonson and six of his top Commanders.
“Sadly however, a Second Lieutenant and three IRT operatives paid the supreme price in the fire fight that ensued.
“The four officers who fought gallantly have already been evacuated to a military facility in Owerri. So far, 3 AK 47 riffles, a Toyota Sienna van belonging to the terrorists and several other items of value including drugs suspected to be psychotropic substances were recovered and are being processed by the intelligence team to assist in further investigations and operations in the area.
“The joint security team is already dominating the general area while preparations for further operations are in top gear.
“The neutralised Ikonson Commander had in several occasions posed for photographs with the fugitive leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu.
“The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru has commended the troops, the Police IRT and DSS operatives for their determination in ensuring that the operation was a success. He prayed for the repose of the souls of the gallant officers who lost their lives in the operation, stressing that their sacrifice will never be in vain.
“The Nigerian Army along with other security agencies will sustain intelligence-based kinetic operations in the South East and South South until the regions are free of terrorist activities.”