Nigerian military moves troops fighting Boko Haram in Borno to South-East in IPOB, ESN showdown

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•Nigerian Army

The Nigerian has drafted reinforcement from some of its formations fighting insurgency in Borno State to join the in the region over the ’s clash with the Indigenous of Biafra () and its security arm, the Eastern Security Network (ESN).

sources confirmed 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.

As of January 2021, the Commanding Officer of the 231 Battalion, Biu, was a southerner, Lt. Col. M. E. Obi, who is ordinarily versed with the workings of the , but it is sure whether he be in the alongside the reinforcements.

“Yes, some are moving from the North-East to the South-East as reinforcements. They started moving from Wednesday. Among them are those from the 231 Tank Battalion; they are believed to be more trained in quelling uprisings,” a top source confirmed.

President Muhammadu Buhari had held a meeting with the service chiefs and the 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.

SaharaReporters had reported that sources familiar with the development said some of the measures which Buhari approved for the two zones were regular operational procedures to curb the growing violence.

“The police and military have been recording casualties in the South-East during raids and gun battles with the criminals disturbing the region. Therefore, the focus would shift more to air power in the coming weeks. Combat helicopters and other aircraft would be deployed to conduct massive raids the hideouts from the air. It does matter whether the hideouts are for the Indigenous of Biafra or its armed outfit, what the military is looking for are criminals,” the source had revealed.

“There is also the likelihood of arrest of more rulers, community heads and chiefs by the security agencies to extract key information. The army and police believe that the and community intelligence be important to suppress the and ESN uprising. The South-East states have to warn their rulers against conniving with the agitators. You see how many rulers were arrested, sanctioned, detained and dethroned in the North-West for conniving with bandits. The same table is turning to the South-East and South-South regions,” another security source had revealed.

It was gathered that the police and the army operatives were still conducting intelligence operations in the South-East and South-South, and intensify their reach based on the new President’s directive.

SaharaReporters had reported on 3 that security officials, due to the precarious situation had deserted their stations, and now prefer to go to work in mufti the few times they go there.

It had been gathered that most policemen, particularly those who are Igbo indigenes, are desperately seeking for redeployments amidst fear of the incessant attacks by “unknown gunmen.”

SaharaReporters had on April 19 reported that most policemen in wear mufti, after heavily armed men attacked Uzuakoli Police Station in the Bende Local Area in a string of attacks on other stations. (Sahara Reporters)