A joint operation of the Nigerian Army and Police has led to the death of about 16 operatives of the Eastern Security Network (ESN), said a military source.
Hundreds of security operatives on Tuesday night launched an attack on the camp of ESN in Aba, Abia state, killing about 16 of them and injuring others.
The operation was in response to a series of attacks against security personnel in the South-East.
Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the IPOB had in December 2020 launched ESN to protect the people of South-East and South-South regions from terrorists and bandits he said are trooping in from the North.
He said that ESN a replica of the Western Nigeria Security Network, known as Amotekun, launched by the governors of the South-West to curb insecurity in the region.
According to Kanu “The sole aim and objective of this newly formed security outfit known as Eastern Security Network is to halt every criminal activity and terrorist attack on Biafraland.
“This outfit, which is a vigilante group like the Amotekun in the South-West and the Miyetti Allah security outfit, will ensure the safety of our forests and farmland which terrorists have converted into slaughter grounds and raping fields.”
Kanu also said that the establishment of the ESN became necessary following what he described as the “failure” of the Governors of the South-South and South-East to put in place measures to protect the people in those regions.
There has been report of some Nigerian soldiers resigning and joining the ESN, because they believe that the ESN, being funded by both international and local donors, had better welfare packages for its officers than the military.
A military source said “The Kanu ESN boys are not a bunch of rookies and untrained fellows brandishing guns.
“We are being reliably informed that there are other soldiers, particularly of the South-East extraction, who will soon leave for other various reasons and they are likely to be recruited into the fold,”
Report has it that some soldiers wrote to the former army chief, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, on July 3, 2020, indicating their intention to quit the Nigeria Army.
This January 127 soldiers comprising of one Master Warrant Officer, three Warrant Officers, 22 Staff Sergeants, 29 Sergeants, 64 Corporals, seven Lance Corporals, and one Private resigned from the Nigerian Army and are due to leave by May.
This is a serious situation that need urgent measures to curtail it as the number of the Nigerian soldiers that are leaving the service are on the increase.