* As Police, Army, DSS Joint Force Kill IPOB Commander, Six Other Militia In Sting Operation

By Gloria Acholonu (Imo State Correspondent)

Bandits, still at large, in the early morning of Saturday April 24, 2021, violently attacked the country home of the governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma, in Omuma, Oru East Local Government Area of the state.

Unconfirmed report, said the gun-bearing bandits were alleged to have blast open the governor's country home main gate with an improvised or locally manufactured rocket launcher and gained entry into Uzodimma's residence and set vehicles and some part of building ablaze and also shot dead two security men on duty.

Nigerian NewsLeader Newspaper Correspondent in Owerri, gathered that one of the unfortunate security officers killed during the weekend dawn attack, was an officer with the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

A villager who witnessed the attack, said the security men on duty at the governor's residence indeed made vigorous attempts to repel the bandits, but were overpowered by the superior fire power of the invaders. According to the source, it was in the cause of repeling the attackers that the officers were felled by bullets during a fierce exchange of gunfire. It was learnt that the bandits equally killed two other security officers at Oguta-Mgbidi junction road which leads to the Imo governor's village and country home.

The source also told Nigerian NewsLeader that several cars including a bus, some SUVs and luxury cars were torched along with some parts of the mansion before help came from villagers who struggled to put out the inferno in the absence of fire fighters.

Meanwhile, the Saturday invasion of governor Hope Uzodimma's residence in the village has further aggravated the already existing tension in Orlu area of Imo state where the embattled ex-lawmaker hails from. Villagers are deeply frightened about the air of uncertainty which has enveloped the entire Omuma community and the Orlu area in general.

The Imo state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, shortly after the violent attack, confirmed the incident, saying that some officers lost their lives in the process.

Meanwhile, operatives of the Nigeria Police Force and their counterparts from the Nigerian Army and DSS in a joint operation, in the early hours of same Saturday April 24, 2021, stormed the operational headquarters of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Awomama Village, Oru East LGA of Imo State.

The IPOB insurgents are said to be responsible for the attack on the Imo State Police Headquarters and the headquarters of the Nigerian Correctional Service on 5th April, 2021. They have also carried out series of calculated, violent attacks on security personnel and formations in the South East and South South of the country.

According to reports, 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. The Forces eventually neutralized the overall commander of the insurgents in the Southeast popularly known as Ikonso Commander and six (6) 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 the Imo Police Headquarters and several other attacks on security and military personnel and facilities.

The operation is part of deliberate effort by the Police and other security forces to quell the activities of insurgents in Imo State and other States of the South East and South South region of the country.

After the fierce gun battle, the security team recovered the remains of Ikonso Commander and the six (6) of his fighters. Several sophisticated weapons including six(6) AK47 rifles, hundreds of ammunition of different caliber and lots of charms including bullet Proof charms were recovered from the insurgents.

At the time of filing this report, three policemen and one army officer are receiving treatment having sustained serious bullet injuries during exchange of gunfire with the insurgents. (With additional reports). NNL.