The Nigerian Army and the fighter aircraft combing the South-East states will continue their operations despite the arrest of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.
The sources said the mission has not been accomplished.
Akelicious learnt that the IPOB and its security wing, Eastern Security Network are believed to have migrated deep into the Cameroonian territory, from where they will launch out at a future time when the security agencies must have dropped their guards.
Kanu was arrested and extradited from Kenya on June 18, and a number of ESN and IPOB members had been arrested before Kanu’s eventual arrest.
Military sources told SaharaReporters that the army has not been given any order to withdraw troops from South-East or to stop its operations, because many of the ESN and IPOB locations had not yet been explored.
“The military operation will continue in the South-East. Fighter aircraft will continue to comb forests and hideouts based on intelligence. It will not stop; it will only intensify with Kanu’s arrest. There is a strong suspected alliance with groups in Cameroon and even operational joint training camps. The military is working on this intel,” one of the sources revealed.
Akelicious had reported in the last week of June that IPOB formed a coalition with a separatist movement in Cameroon in the areas of training for combat operations and arms exchange.
While IPOB, through ESN, is fighting Nigerian security forces to establish the Biafra Republic in the South-East, the Ambazonian War of Liberation (AWL) and Ambazonia Defence Forces (ADF) are pushing to break away from Cameroon.
The leadership of AWL had announced that they had established a relationship with IPOB towards pursuing a common goal of political and economic liberation.
Also, Nnamdi Kanu and the leader of AWL, Dr Lucas Cho Ayaba, have indicated plans to work together in the struggles for their two regions, according to a recording of a Zoom meeting posted on social media, which was shown by the IPOB leader.
“We are in the know of what is happening…We are closely monitoring,” a security source who did not want to be named, had said.
“There is a link between them because the Ambazonian militants are offering training to IPOB members,” another source had said.
Akelicious had on June 22 reported that military aircraft returned to Imo State and parts of the South-East in a fresh search for IPOB and ESN members, causing fresh tensions in the areas.
SaharaReporters had learnt that the military aircraft frequented the communities to locate the camps and hideouts of the groups.
In December 2020, the Nigerian military first deployed aircraft and soldiers to communities in the South-East region in search of ESN members.
Nnamdi Kanu, leader of IPOB, had on December 12, 2020, launched the ESN, saying the regional security outfit, just like Amotekun in the South-West, would help to tackle crimes and criminalities.
SaharaReporters had In May 2021 reported how the Nigerian Army drafted reinforcement troops from some of its formations fighting insurgency in Borno State to join the troops in the South-East region over the military’s clash with IPOB and ESN operatives.
Military sources had confirmed to SaharaReporters that the reinforcements were drawn from some battalions including the 231 Tank Battalion in Biu, Borno State, which is under the 3 Armoured Division, Jos, Plateau State.
President Muhammadu Buhari had also in May held a meeting with the service chiefs and the Inspector-General of Police at the Presidential villa, Abuja, telling them to adopt certain security measures in the South-East and the South-South geopolitical zones of the country.
Akelicious had gathered that the police and the army operatives were still conducting intelligence operations in the South-East and South-South, and will intensify their reach based on the new President’s directive.