The Imo State Government has declared its support for the “ongoing military operation” in Orlu Local Government Area of the state.

There were apprehensions in Orlu a few days ago when a military helicopter flew at low level in the area.

Channels TV quoted the Attorney General of Imo State, Cyprian Akaolisa, as saying the operation, which was conducted jointly with the police, was aimed at “clearing camps” said to have been built by the Eastern Security Network, a security arm of the pro-Biafra group, IPOB.

Mr Akaolisa, who briefed reporters on Friday in Owerri, said the Nigerian Army was invited to Orlu by the Imo State Government.

He said “the state government got intelligence that IPOB was planning an attack against the Orlu people and the government, under the pretext of looking for herders in the communities”.

“The attacks on police stations and killing of policemen during #EndSARS were carried out by IPOB and not protesting youths for the sole purpose of hijacking and stealing weapons.

“They are now using those arms to destroy Orlu. They killed 10 policemen, a prominent Orlu son, Ignatius Obiezu, and one Emmanuel Okeke and collected their Hilux vehicles,” the attorney general said.

“There are no Fulani herdsmen in Orlu,” he added.

I blame the South-east governors – Moghalu

Meanwhile, a former presidential candidate in Nigeria, Kingsley Moghalu, has condemned the military operation in Orlu, describing it as “a heavy handed response” from the Nigerian government.

“I condemn the Nigerian military operation in Orlu. It is an outrage to subject civilian populations to this kind of traumatic experience. Regardless of the reason advanced, the situation does not call for this kind of heavy handed response,” Mr Moghalu said on Twitter, Saturday evening.

“This is happening because South-east governors, unlike their SW (South-west) colleagues failed to set up effective, legitimate security outfits to defend citizens in these states from marauding, violent herdsmen and bandits. Individuals and groups naturally resorted to self-defence.

“This is why I often say there is a difference between leadership and politics. We need to focus on a search for leaders who can stand to be counted in defence of Nigerian lives.

“I have no interest in chasing shadows. We must address root causes to deal with our security crisis,” Mr Moghalu said.

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