By Austin Peacemaker
The widely reported Orlu clash between the Eastern Security Network (ESN) and the Nigerian Army that led to the loss of lives and properties in Imo state, SECURITY AFFAIRS after much investigation gathered that the crisis started after IPOB Armed group on sighting an Hilux vehicle with team of Nigerian Army quickly opened fire on them later killing four Nigerian Soldiers who were attached to the two Army officers sent from Army Headquarters in Abuja. The Army team from the Department of Civil Military Affairs were simply on an inspection tour to monitor a CIMIC road rehabilitation project in Nkwerre LGA Imo state.
The Nigerian Army Department of Civil Military Affairs in their usual spirit of civil military relations to win the hearts and minds of the civil populace earlier approved funds for the rehabilitation of 1.5KM road in Nkwerre LGA, and in a bid to ensure professionalism a team made up of a Major and a Brigadier General was sent from Abuja to inspect all projects and evaluate their level of completeness. They have earlier been to Uromi in Edo state, Asaba in Delta state, Anambra state, and then Imo state where they were attacked by ESN killings four soldiers including a warrant officer who was said to be an Igbo indigene unknown to the ESN. One of the survivors from the Army vehicle told SECURITY AFFAIRS that they were on motion when they heard gun shots from nowhere before a blink of an eye they saw they were being chased by five vehicles with armed men, they were shot at while their soldiers returned fire also. Their tyre was shot and their vehicle somersaulted about three times before landing on its tyres. Their driver was initially shot on his leg, three other soldiers including the driver were later killed and their rifles stolen. Another survivor told SECURITY AFFAIRS that their tour was not an operational visit but the ESN attack on them was deliberate.
This incidents SECURITY AFFAIRS gathered later led to the deployment of Security Forces to the area and other nearby LGAs leading to the Orlu clash, which later made the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodima to immediately declare curfew in Orlu, Nkwerre, and other eight LGAs.
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