By: Obinna Odogwu
Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, yesterday said that the Eastern Security Network (ESN) of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has become a threat to Nigeria’s security operatives.
He said that the recent attacks on security officers in Anambra State wherein the Navy lost four personnel was evidence that ESN has started launching attacks on security personnel.
Gambo stated this in Onitsha shortly after his meeting with the state governor, Chief Willie Obiano in the Governor’s Lodge.
This is even as he ordered soldiers in the state to be on red alert and redouble their efforts on war against criminal elements attempting to truncate the existing peace in the state.
Gambo, who had earlier made an operational visit to Onitsha Naval Outpost, said that he was there to have a first hand information on the security situation in the outpost and how best to boost and strengthen security in the area.
He said the Navy was already working in conjunction with the armed services and security agencies to ensure lasting peace returned to the state.
He said: “I’m here on operational visit to Onitsha Naval Outpost. We wouldn’t have been here but for expediency following the two separate incidents we had last week that led to the loss of some of our men and two weapons.
“Even though the attack was not limited to our men, because I understand that Correctional Service team conveying a suspect to the court was also attacked.
“I’m here to reassure our staff at the Naval Outpost who have been here since 2010 to redouble their efforts and to be more alert based on the potent threats we’re observing now from the Eastern Security Network, the security arm of the IPOB.
“We’re working in conjunction with the armed services and security agencies to ensure we bring lasting peace to this state which has been peaceful for quite a long time now.
“This is line with Mr. President directives after our inauguration to service chiefs to put heads together to ensure we change the deepening insecurity situation around the country so our people can have peace and do their job well.”
The Chief of Naval Staff commended the governor for his support to the security agencies in the state and pledged his continued support to ensure permanent peace returned to the state.
Earlier, the governor appreciated the Naval Chief for the prompt response during the ugly development.
Obiano said: “He came to see his men and make a courtesy call on me. He came with very senior officers, commanding various segments in the state and beyond and I’m extremely delighted with the discussions we had.
“When we had the ugly incident that led to loss of lives, they responded quickly and sent a special crack team who are doing a great work.”