*As Soldiers Surround Nnamdi Kanu’s Home with Armored Tanks
*Thousands of IPOB members Head To Umuahia in Trailers, Tippers
The battle line between the Nigerian Military and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is drawn as a detachment of soldiers has
surrounded the Afaraukwu, home of the IPOB arrow head and leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
Palpable fear and tensions have also enveloped the community and Umuahia, the state capital as thousands of the IPOB members were seen in tippers, buses and other cars from different South-East states heading to their leader’s home, Mazi Kanu in Umuhia, after Nigerian army, were seen with armoured tankers in front of Kanu’s home.
Since Friday when the Nigerian Army announced that it was commencing its second phase of operation Python dance code named “Egwu Eke 11” in five South Eastern states: Imo, Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, and Enugu; it has been engaged in combats against members of IPOB, the first attack being on Sunday.
A statement signed on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai, by the Army Chief of Training and Operations, said the conduct of the exercise Python Dance II in the South East states has become even more expedient due to the “mindless assassinations (even in religious places), attack on security personnel, theft of weapons, armed banditry, kidnapping, cultism and violent agitations, as well as other security challenges that have recently become prevalent in the South Eastern part of the country.”
It said, during the exercise, emphasis will be placed on raids, cordon and search operations, anti-kidnapping drills, road blocks, check points and show of force, as well as humanitarian activities such as medical outreach.
After Sunday’s attack also in Umuahia, the soldiers arrived the community on Tuesday barely 48 hours after the clash between the Army and IPOB members on Sunday evening, which left many people injured.
The soldiers returned with about 10 Armoured Carrier Vehicles and seven Hilux vans.
Invasion by the soldiers have paralyzed socioeconomic activities in the area as fears gripped the people forcing them to close shops and business premises for their safety.
Some of the soldiers also invaded the Abia State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, on Aba Road, Umuahia, and destroyed laptops and other valuables.
According to journalists at the secretariat, the soldiers claimed they saw somebody taking photographs of them from the building.
John Emejor, chairman of NUJ council, John Emejor has confirmed the incident.
Emejor who expressed disappointment over the incidents said Ezeogo Bonny Okoro, national officer of the union, was slapped by one of the soldiers.
He said, “Our press centre was invaded by soldiers, two Journalists lost their IPads and phones, while a national leader in the office was attacked.
“Our stand is that those involved in this attack on innocent journalists should be fished out and punished in line with the constitution of the country.”
When contacted the assistant director, Army Public Relations, 14 Brigade, Major Oyegoke Gbadamosi, confirmed the incident.
He said he had asked the chairman of the Council to send the photograph of the damaged office to him.