KanyiDaily recalls that Nigerian soldiers were accused of burning houses and killing an undisclosed number of youths during an invasion at Imama Mgbowo community in Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State.
Some residents told Punch that the soldiers invaded the community on Monday morning in search of an alleged ESN/IPOB leader, known as Chocho, who hailed from the community.
A source said that the said suspect was not around when the soldiers invaded the community at about 5 am and started shooting indiscriminately, burning houses including the family house of the said suspect.
He said, “They torched his house and sprayed bullets in nearby compounds. In short, the soldiers who were chanting jihadist songs were burning properties in the community like they were at war with the community.”
Although an eyewitness, who pleaded not to be named, said there was no casualty during the attack, there are reports that an undisclosed number of youths were killed during the invasion.
Nigerian Army Speaks On Enugu Invasion
In a statement on Tuesday, signed by the Acting Deputy Director Public Relations 82 Division Nigerian Army, Major Abubakar, the military denied the incident.
The army said it arrested two suspected IPOB, ESN members during the invasion, adding that there was no incident of indiscriminate firing or unprovoked burning of houses during the raid.
Abubakar noted that the trending videos in circulation claiming to represent the aftermath were not during the Agwu operation, but mare propaganda to incite the public against the Army.
The statement reads: “Troops of Joint Security Team have raided a suspected Indigeneous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network (IPOB/ESN) hideout located in Mgbowo, Awgu Local Government Area on 1 November 2021. During the night operation, two ring leaders of IPOB/ ESN were arrested. The suspects are currently undergoing interrogation with a security agency.”
“It should be noted that, contrary to IPOB/ESN propaganda video, there was no incident of indiscriminate firing or unprovoked burning of houses during the raid. The joint operation in Agwu was conducted in the night and there was no destruction of any private property involved.”
“The trending videos in circulation claiming to represent the aftermath of the night operation is not portraying the Agwu operation. It is meant to whip up sentiment and incite the public against the Army. Meanwhile, Investigation into the video is ongoing to ascertain when and where it was shot and those involved. Any personnel found culpable would be sanctioned accordingly. Updates will be communicated when investigation is completed.”
“Members of the public are advised to disregard such propaganda materials intended to mislead the public. We shall continue to support other security agencies in line with our constitutional mandate in a professional manner. Any act of unprofessional conduct among our troops will not be tolerated.”
KanyiDaily recalls that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) had released a video showing a 12-year-old ISWAP Fighter executing two captured Nigerian soldiers.