Nigerian Army has dismissed reports that its personnel attacked Awo mmamma Community at Oru East Local Government area of Imo State.
In a statement, the acting Deputy Director, army Public Relations, 82 Division Abubakar Abdulkahi said troops conducting Exercise GOLDEN DAWN dispersed IPOB/ESN hoodlums carrying out arson while enforcing the illegitimate Sit-at-Home order imposed by the proscribed group at AWO-MMAMMA Community,
In the quest to compel citizens to comply with the unlawful order, IPOB/ESN criminals indulged in harassment, intimidation and physical abuse of commuters going about their lawful businesses.
The criminals went further to carry out arson and destruction of businesses and homes at Ishieke junction (along Owerri-Onitsha express way) as a vendetta against the citizens for not complying with the illegal order.
According to him, the hoodlums who had earlier blocked the highway, set ablaze a commercial vehicle heading towards Onitsha.
Vigilant troops responding to distress calls by motorists and shop owners swiftly moved to the scene and engaged the hoodlums in a firefight.
Abdulkahi noted that the troops overwhelmed the hoodlums forcing them to scamper in different directions.
The troops pursued the hoodlums to their hideout in Akatta Community in Oru East LGA, where a member of the group was neutralized in the shootout.
While the troops engaged the hoodlums in their hideout, other members of the group who alleged that some individuals had volunteered information to the troops mustered at Ishieke junction and set ablaze houses and businesses of law abiding citizens.
He said he the troops again returned to the junction to disperse the hoodlums. Unfortunately, one of the soldiers paid the supreme prize.
Nigerian army said it will continue to be professional despite unwholesome propaganda by IPOB/ESN, other criminal elements and their collaborators to misinform and mislead Nigerians on the truth regarding the arson at Awo-Mmamma.