• Recovers over 2,000 guns, other weapons

• IPOB denies ownership of Imo camp

From Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri

A Joint Task Force of the security forces comprising the Army, DSS, police and others on Thursday raided a criminal hideouts believes to belong to the Indigenous People of Biafra’s  (IPOB) Eastern Security Network  (ESN) at Orsu, Orlu in Imo State and part of Lilu in Anambra State.

But IPOB has denied ownership of the raided Imo camp.

According to a viral video circulated by the joint security team, the operation, which lasted for a whole week saw the final destruction of the dreaded camp popularly referred to as “Mother Valley” by the people of the area.

The security team were seen in the video emboldened by their feat dancing as they shouted, “who say men no dey, who say we no fit enter Mother Valley, calling out the name of the leader of the notorious group, ‘Temple,’ as they continued their raid in the valley completely covered by bushes.

Two of the members of the suspected IPOB group were seen lying dead in the pool of their blood in the video while most of them fled with various degrees of bullet wounds.

The shrine of the group was not also spared as the JTF scattered and burnt down the building painted in Biafra colour.

Some vehicles and motorbikes belonging to the group were also recovered from the valley.

A native of the place who does not want his name mentioned told our correspondent that with the raid by the JTF peace will finally return to the area.

He said: “We’re happy with this great feat by the Nigerian security forces, the peace that has eluded us for the past four years will now return. The security men have been trying in the past to restore peace here, but they just couldn’t go pass the villages and communities, but today we’re happy that they have combed the dreaded Mother Valley.

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“This is a major hideout of these people that have sent most of our people on exile, if they’re being chased by the police and once they get there, you can’t catch them again, it’s a thick forest and very deep, today, Lilu and some other parts of Anambra have been liberated.”

Meanwhile, the IPOB has denied the claim by the Nigeria security forces that the raided camp, Mother Valley, is its camp.

Spokesperson of the group, Emma Powerful in a statement released to newsmen yesterday said that the camp belongs to the Biafra Liberation Army controlled from Finland by Simon Ekpa and had nothing to do with the Nnamdi Kanu-led IPOB.

He reiterated that the primary function of the ESN is to prevent the attack of Fulani herdsmen in farms in the Southeast.

He said: “For almost three years now, IPOB has raised alarm and have constantly disassociated ourselves publicly from the infiltrator’s criminal gang in Finland and commanding the Mother Valley camp and  Butuzor (Temple), their commander operating around Orsuihitukwa and Orsumoghu in Imo and Anambra State respectfully.

“The struggle for Biafra freedom championed by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB members worldwide is a responsible movement devoid of crime and violence. IPOB and ESN are in the forefront fighting terror and criminalities in Biafra land.

“We are not involved in any form of crime as constantly alleged by the Nigerian government and her blackmailing media.

“We demand that the joint Security Forces publicly display their insignias they collected from the camp. They were BLA insignia showing they are not ESN.

“Our struggle to achieve Biafra freedom is something the Nigeria government and its security agencies is not able to understand. Any day, the ESN and IPOB volunteers decide to carry arms against the Nigeria government and its security agencies they will understand.

“The Nigeria Government should stop all this cheap blackmail against IPOB and ESN operatives and call these criminals by their names and leave IPOB and ESN operatives alone. They knew that this current shenanigans is to blackmail Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in view of the court case coming up on the 19 and 20 of March.

“Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is innocent and will continue to defeat Nigeria in their court without political interference because self-determination is lawful.”