IBOP Hunts Down: Anxiety and Suspense Grips Imo Community Amid Police Re-Invasion


Lat Tuesday night, the re-invasion of Umuduruzor in Oboro Umueze Ogwa village of Umueze/Abazu Ogwa autonomous community by the Imo State Police Command, resulting in the abduction of 15 young men, has sparked fear and tension in the area. Elder Theophilus Ejiogu, a 76-year-old retired school principal and a resident of the area, who was both a victim and an eyewitness to the security operation, recounted that the armed men arrived around 12:45 am in a convoy of Hilux and Sienna buses, dressed in black attire resembling commandos. Ejiogu, also a community leader, reported that the leader of the operation, without disclosing his name, stated that they had received information about the presence of IPOB and Eastern Security Network (ESN) members in the area, whom they had previously expelled earlier last year.

In his words; “they were shouting with intimidations, asking people to open their doors or else they will break it. They broke so many doors and windows of many houses and compounds. Asked the people to lie down. They ransacked everywhere looking for insignias of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB and ESN security outfits. If they found any insignias, gun, or tattoos on any young man or woman body, members of the family with the accused were beating to stupor and the suspects arrested in handcuffs.

This one, is more devastating than what happened last year, i think around 16th August 2023 in which about 23 young men and women of the kindred were arrested and detained by the same police command and some others like Samuel Iwuajoku, Metumaribe Chinedu Callistus, John Agbara and Felix Eke Njoku were declared wanted as alleged chieftains of IPOB in the area.

The elderly citizen highlighted that following the recent invasion, the community and its surroundings have been engulfed in rumours and palpable fears as young men have fled the area and gone into hiding. He criticized the security forces for disregarding people’s rights and excessively raiding the village, arguing that members of IPOB and ESN pose no security threat as they adhere to non-violent freedom fighting tactics and grassroots security measures.

In response, Senior Police Officer DCP Victor Mbata confirmed the re-invasion, labeling the area as a hotspot for the outlawed IPOB and ESN, asserting that their activities undermine Nigeria’s peace and unity. He assured that arrested individuals would face legal consequences after thorough investigations and mentioned ongoing efforts to apprehend all wanted group members.

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