Armed ViolenceExtremismNews

Security Community Concerned Separatist Fighters May Target Govt Facilities Outside Southeast

An intelligence report suggests that IPOB may be planning an attack in major cities outside Southeast and South-south Nigeria.

Fears are mounting that the separatist fighters linked with the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) might be planning to target government installations and security formations in major cities  across Nigeria.

A top security official who did not want to be named in the media because he is not the government’s spokesperson informed HumAngle that the government has gotten intelligence of the planned attack.

All mechanisms have been set up to stop an escalation of the emerging security crisis in Southeast Nigeria, the official said. 

The Southeast and South-south have recorded over a dozen attacks on security formations including correctional facilities and security patrols. 

“We are not neglecting the possibility of such attacks in Abuja or Lagos,” the official said.

In Dec. 2020, the proscribed IPOB announced the launch of the Eastern Security Network (ESN), a militant-style unit the group said was formed to address security challenges in the Southeast and South-south regions.

Multiple videos have been released online showing ESN conducting combat drills and holding military-grade rifles.

ESN has been linked with a series of attacks on government facilities, civilians and security officials in the Southeast. 

On Monday, police said the group was responsible for the coordinated attacks at the Police Headquarters in Owerri, Imo State and a jailbreak at a correctional facility in the state. 

Security sources told HumAngle that the armoury at the Police headquarters may have been looted by the separatists during the attack giving rise to concerns that a large cache of arms and ammunition is in their possession. 

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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He tweets via @murtalaibin

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