Trigger warning: Police brutality, violence and death
The governor of Imo state, Hope Uzodimma has ordered a curfew as a result of the violent clash that happened on Monday, between security agents at Orlu local government. Although it’s still unclear what exactly triggered the violence, local media reports confirmed that it started from the conflict between the military and some youth believed to be members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN), a rogue security agency set up by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). The Nation reported that the clash happened in Okporo, Banana junction, Ogboosisi in Orlu local government and the governor has now restricted movement from 6 pm to 6 am in the surrounding neighborhoods (Orlu, Orsu, Oru East, Oru West, Ideao North, Ideao South, Njaba, Isu, Nwangele and Nkwerre) in order to deescalate the crisis.
The brutal exchange of gunshots is believed to have resulted in at least 10 deaths including 4 soldiers as reported by The Punch. We were also able to see some clips of the attack from people within the community who were brave enough to capture parts of the violence and destruction on their phone cameras. The videos which they shared on social media showed soldiers in their army uniforms, shooting at unseen targets while the secret videographer commented that they were shooting at “anything that moved”. We also saw houses raised in flames and military trucks driving around the streets while we hear people crying and begging to be spared.
(Trigger Warning for the video below)
Violence in Orlu, Imo State today. 💔💔💔 pic.twitter.com/cjhIKfDAfv
— STEW📍 (@Hunclestew) January 25, 2021
However, according to the governor’s report, it was a group of militants – under the ESN – that unleashed terror in Orlu and killed innocent citizens. Aloy Ejimakor, a lawyer and special counsel to the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu disagreed and explained that he believes the operation was an attack against Igbos as he has no clue what prompted the attack.
Nigeria Fulani @HQNigerianArmy has declared war on the innocent people of #Orlu,Imo State in other to protect and install Fulani killers on Imolites.Killings,burning of homes & properties is what @HQNigerianArmy is carrying out over there now.@StateDept @CFR_org @IsraelinNigeria pic.twitter.com/H2jriFiMX1
— Amaka Ike (@Real_AmakaIke) January 25, 2021
Though militant attacks have become quite common in Nigeria (the Boko Haram terrorist group was famously referenced in Marvel’s “Black Panther” film), it doesn’t seem like the government has found a solution to the insecurity crisis. It’s now causing people in Imo state to grieve for the loss of lives and properties and without any concrete reason for the senseless killing. Citizens continue to live in fear for their lives.
Featured Image Credits: Twitter/Real_AmakaIke
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