Governor’s house bombed, IPOB kingpin, members killed
Charles Nwoke, Owerri, Nigeria
April 25, 2021
Above image courtesy of local sources, fair use.
The country home of Governor Hope Uzodinma was yesterday bombed, in less than one month after Owerri Correctional Centre (prisons) and Headquarters of Imo State Police Command were attacked.
The unfortunate incident, which occurred around 8:15 am at his village, Omuma, in Oru East Local Government Area Council, led to the death of four security agents.
The Commander of Eastern Security Network (ESN), a security network facilitated by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPoB), and six members of the group were killed during a gun duel with security forces in the state.
Reacting to the incident, IPoB immediately blamed Governor Hope Uzodinma for the killings.
The secession group said the governor had stirred the hornet nest and would pay dearly for it.
On their side, the State Government said the assault on Governor Uzodinma’s country home was perpetuated by 15 persons, who arrived at the scene of the ugly event in three vehicles including a tipper fully loaded with used vehicular tires.
Orlando Ikeokwu, the Imo State Police Command Public Relations Officer, who confirmed the incident, identified the victims as a Police Sergeant and two personnel of Nigerian Security, Civil Defense Corps, NSCDC, and an official of Imo State Fire Service, ISFS.
He said, “Yes, I can confirm the story. The hoodlums attacked the governor’s house by throwing in a petrol bomb as a result of which two cars were burnt, but they were successfully repelled.
“None of the building was set ablaze. However, one unarmed personnel of the NSCDC was killed in the process. The hoodlums while escaping also killed a Police Sergeant and another NSCDC personnel both in their private vehicles at Mgbidi junction.”
Japhet Okereafor, Director of Imo State Fire Service, identified the deceased member of his organization as Atenesuis Iheakor, a level eight officer.
According to a source from Omuma, “The man was killed as they were driving to Governor Hope Uzodimma ‘s house to quench the fire.
“He was killed less than two poles away from Uzodinma’s house.”
The slain security agent was said to be the father of five children.
It was gathered that the attackers equally carried out another raid in another Local Government Area Council.
“The attacks in other areas were not serious. They were shooting to clear the way for themselves. As a result of the shooting, some people running away got injured. I was told some were struck by stray bullets. The areas the hoodlums were shooting sporadically as they were leaving were in Orlu, parts of Oru East and Oguta Local Government Areas,” another resident said.
While reacting to the ugly incident, the Imo State Commissioner for Information, Declan Emelumba said, “Gallant security operatives this morning repelled an attack on the Omuma country home of the governor of Imo State, Sen Hope Uzodimma.
“At about 9 am today, Saturday, April 24, a group of hoodlums, numbering about 15 and driving in a motorcade of three vehicles accompanied by a tipper loaded with used tires, stormed the country home of the governor in Omuma, Oru East LGA and attempted to burn down the house.
“However, vigilant security operatives attached to the governor’s house successfully repelled the attack and consequently minimized the damage they had planned to unleash. In the crossfire that ensued a few casualties were recorded. Preliminary investigation suggests that the foiled attack may have been politically sponsored.
“Government has directed relevant security agencies to expedite investigation on the incident and promptly apprehend the sponsors and their agents and bring them to justice.”
Also, the Coalition of South-East Leaders, led by Goodluck Ibem, stated that the attack was planned and executed by aggrieved politicians.
The group said, “The Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, COSEYL, the apex socio-political youth organization in the South-East geopolitical zone condemns in strongest terms the vicious invasion and incursion by men of the underworld that led to the untimely death of security operatives guarding the governor’s house in his country home at Omuma in Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State. The burning of the governor’s house and the killing of security men on duty is wicked and barbaric.
“Igboland is a peaceful place and anyone behind this vicious attack on Igbo land must be brought to justice.
“The attack on the governor’s residence is purely the handiwork of aggrieved politicians who are not happy with the governor’s stance against corruption and conversion of government properties to personal properties.”
Meanwhile, the Commander of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPoB/Eastern Security Network (ESN), in the South-East region, simply identified as Ikonso Commander, and six other IPoB/ESN members were killed in a shootout with men of the Nigerian Police, Army and the Department of State Service, DSS, in the state.
Three police officers and an army officer were said to have sustained bullet wounds during the battle.
The joint security task force, reportedly swooped IPoB’s operational headquarters in Awomama village, Oru East Local Government Area Council of Imo State on Saturday.
It was gathered that the operation followed an allegation that members of the separatist group were responsible for the attacks on the headquarters of Imo State Police Command and the Nigerian Correctional Service on April 5, 2021.
They were also believed to have carried out series of calculated, violent attacks on security posts and personnel in both South-East and South-South regions of Nigeria.
A source who pleaded anonymity because of fear of the unknown said, “As the security forces approached the base of the insurgents, they came under rapid fire from the group. In a bold and clinical response, the joint security forces fought back gallantly and eventually neutralized the commander of the insurgents in the South-East popularly known as Ikonso Commander, and six other armed fighters of the insurgent group.
“Commander Ikonso is known as the Vice President-designate as well as the coordinator of all the militia operations of the group. He was the mastermind and coordinator of the attack on Imo Police headquarters and several other attacks on security and military personnel and facilities.
“The operation is part of a deliberate effort by the Police and other security forces to quell activities of insurgents in Imo State and other states in the South-East and southward regions.
“At the end of the gun duel, the security teams were able to recover the remains of Ikonso Commander and six of his fighters.
“Several sophisticated weapons including six AK47 rifles, hundreds of ammunition of different caliber, and lots of charms including bulletproof charms were recovered from the insurgents.
“Three policemen and an Army officer are receiving treatment in the hospital, having sustained serious bullet injuries during the exchange of gunfire with the insurgents.”
Still reacting on the shootout between security forces and IPoB/ESN members, in a statement titled, ‘Killing of ESN Commander: Hope Uzodinma has stirred the hornet nest’, and signed by Emma Powerful, IPOB Media and Publicity Secretary, the secession group said the governor chose to kill Ikonso “because he refused his offer to head Ebube Agu ghost security outfit formed by South-East governors.”
The statement reads:
“We the global family of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPoB), ably led by our great leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, strongly condemn the unprovoked attack on some members of IPoB and ESN operatives at Oguta Junction at Mgbidi, along Owerri Road Onitsha expressway by a joint security force comprising the army, police and DSS operatives, with the support of Imo State Government.
“The killing of the heroic innocent Biafrans protecting our communities and towns from Fulani terrorist herdsmen masquerading as cattle herders in cold blood is very painful.
“The Supreme Court Administrator of Imo State Hope Uzodinma and all those who had a hand in this wickedness will pay dearly. Hope Uzodinma and his cowardly Nigerian security agencies cannot confront Fulani terrorists but only flex their muscles when they see Biafra agitators. For murdering Ikonso, the ESN unit COMMANDER, in cold blood, Uzodinma has stirred the hornet nest! He should get ready for a sting.
“Uzodinma decided to kill Ikonso because he refused his offer to head Ebube Agu ghost security outfit formed by South-East governors. Uzodima has tried but without success to lure ESN operatives into EBUBE AGU. He had made irresistible offers to them which were turned down, hence his resorting to the elimination of these patriotic heroes who vowed never to betray Biafra.
“Hope Uzodinma sent emissaries to beg Ikonso and other ESN officers to join EBUBE AGU security outfit. So, because of their refusal to betray Biafra’s agitation and our Leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the governor mobilized joint security forces to attack them today.
“Contrary to claims by the cowardly security forces who flee from terrorists but kill innocent citizens, they were not able to penetrate the camp of Eastern Security Network, ESN. They only ambushed Ikonso but we promise them hell for this cowardly act!
“Hope Uzodinma has murdered sleep, so he should be ready to stay awake! Fulani terrorists pretending as cattle sellers in Enugu destroyed police van and attacked government officials on lawful duty with AK-47 rifles but no army, police, or DSS attacked them till now. But ESN operatives defending our communities against terrorists are being hunted like games every day. The world has kept quiet over this atrocity until we begin our own madness.”