Following the killing of Ikonso Don, commander of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Eastern Security Network (ESN), last month, the Army has been relentless in its effort to rid the South East of the menace of ESN.
A team of military officers have been combing the region searching desperately for members of the ESN, who the army blame for the spike in criminality and attack on government infrastructure in the region. The Army’s search has focused mainly on the leadership of the group with a bid to neutralizing them.
That effort has again paid off with the recent arrest of 48-year-old Awurum Eze who is second-in-command in the ESN hierarchy. According to the Director, Army Public Relations, Eze was arrested following intense intelligence gathering which lasted for about three months.
The military revealed that they have been on the trail of Eze, once it was discovered that he was one of the top leaders of the ESN and a key sponsor and mobiliser for the group’s heinous activities in the region in the past months. Eze was also said to be one of the few ESN members has a direct communication link with IPOB leader Nnamdi kanu.
According to the military, the ESN has been responsible for the instability in the South East in the past months, leading to the attack and burning of government infrastructure and burning of police station. During one of the attacks on police facilities over 1000 inmates were freed some of who were hardened criminals and arrested ESN members.
The army noted that Eze, a 48-year-old native of Umoneke Nta in the Isiala-Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State, was one of the main architects of the attacks on the police station. He was alleged to have mobilized men and resources for the operations and also coordinated the attacks.
But the ESN and IPOB have severally denied that it was involved in the criminal attacks. According to IPOB, the ESN was formed to fight against Fulani criminals in the region.
IPOB leader, Nnamdi kanu
The army noted that during the several months of tracking Eze, some attempts has been made to arrest him without success, including one recently on May 4, which was orchestrated by operatives of Intelligence Response Team (IRT) who stormed his village house in Isiala Mbano where he was hiding. But Eze, got away just as the IRT officers were closing in on him. It is suspected that he got a heads up on their plan to arrest him.
But there was no such problem yesterday, May 12 when the Army eventually made good of their intention and swooped on him. The arrested was so well planned that before Eze knew what was happening, the Army had closed him on him.
The Nigerian Army
The army has celebrated the arrest of Eze as another major breakthrough on its desire to rid the South East of the activities of the ESN, and restore peace and tranquility to the region once again. There is no word yet on when he will be taken to court.
Recall that a few weeks ago, the military killed the coordinator of ESN Ikonso Don in a gun fight that took place Awomama Village, Oru East LGA of Imo State, where Ikonso Don had gone to take refuge.
Ikonso’s death was seen as a major blow to the operations of ESN, but Nnamdi Kanu while bemoaning his death noted that ESN will bounce back from the setback and learn vital lessons from it. IPOB also named a successor to Ikonso, but his name was not made public. It is not clear whether Eze was the successor that IPOB appointed.
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