In a recent statement, the Anambra State Police have strongly refuted claims suggesting that the Eastern Security Network (ESN), the militant wing of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has established its headquarters in Umunze, a community within the Orumba South Local Government Area of the state.
The police spokesperson, Tochukwu Ikenga, a deputy superintendent of police, dismissed these claims as “mischievous,” emphasizing that they are both “false and baseless.” The assertion had purportedly originated from an individual who was reportedly released after spending four days in captivity.
Ikenga highlighted a recent successful operation by the police in Aguata Local Government Area, where they dismantled some IPOB camps in Ogbunka Community near Umunze. During the operation, three individuals, including a priest, were rescued, and three suspects were apprehended. Additionally, three pump-action guns were recovered.
Contrary to the alleged characterization of Umunze as a “no-go area,” Ikenga affirmed that the divisional police headquarters in the community is “functioning at full capacity.” He reassured the public that the police in Anambra State are actively carrying out their duties and ensuring the safety of residents.
Acknowledging insurgent activities to the south of Umunze in a neighboring state (Abia), Ikenga stated that collaborative efforts are underway to address and eliminate these threats. Commissioner of Police in Anambra State, Aderemi Adeoye, echoed this commitment, emphasizing that ensuring the safety of residents remains a permanent priority for the police in the state.
IPOB, a group advocating for the creation of an independent state of Biafra in the South-east and parts of South-south Nigeria, has been implicated in various deadly attacks in these regions. Despite these accusations, the group consistently denies any involvement in such incidents.