The Nigerian Army personnel appear to have resumed invasion and burning of communities in Imo State to provoke another season of unrest in the South East.
SaharaReporters reliably gathered that troops of the Nigerian military on Sunday, during Easter celebrations invaded Orsu-Ihiteukwa, Orsu local government area of Imo State and burnt down Ekeututu International Market after looting shops.
Community sources told SaharaReporters on Tuesday that the soldiers numbering more than 200 with armoured vehicles invaded the community while people were still in various churches attending Sunday Mass and services in commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
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One of the sources said, “On Sunday morning, Nigerian soldiers invaded Orsu-Ihiteukwa, my community and went to our ancestral market Ekeututu International Market and broke into shops owned by individual traders and businessmen and women, looted and set same ablaze.
“They were shooting sporadically when they invaded which saw people running helter skelter for their dear lives, some who went to church almost got trapped inside the church as they could not leave for fear of being killed.”
Lamenting the destruction and burning down of ancestry market after looting, another witness said, “This is one operation too many that has been going on in my community and little or nothing is heard about it. Personnel of the Nigerian military have become terrorists in my community and Imo State,” he added.
“Jihadist Fulani herdsmen are killing hundreds and sacking communities in Benue state on daily basis and other Christian Communities in the North Central, they have not done anything but every other day Nigeria military have turned their guns weapons on Igbo Communities. Now while their Fulani jihadist herdsmen are evaporating Communities in North Central and Nigerian are doing same in South East.”
The source stated that because of outcry of atrocious activities carried out in Orsu LGA and neighbouring communities, the military and other state actors stopped attacking the people until recently they resumed attack for no justifiable reasons.
“Earlier last month people’s living houses and shops where set ablaze including vehicles in the community including Ekeututu international market and its environs.
“This method of operation by the military is anything other than fight against banditry and insurgence. How can the military be destroying people’s homes and businesses including lives of innocent people and looting goods and properties and they tag it fight against banditry and insurgence.
“We have always said that we are not against fighting insurgents but in doing so we expect the military to act professionally and observe the rules of engagement. The situation where the military kill, loot and destroy lives and properties at will is unacceptable.
“Imagine a military operation carried out on Sunday the resurrection of Christ is being celebrated in a predominantly Christian community is to say the least a sacrilege.
“So, please we are facing existential crisis and threat and we need the whole world to hear about it. This story is verifiable, it’s not fake, it’s not propaganda nor a scam. I personally have suffered loses both in human and material worth.
“We need this to stop and it’s largely because nothing is heard about the military atrocities committed in Orsu-ihiteukwa in particular and Orsu LGA in general that is why the act is ongoing. Even as I send this text, the military is still in my community Orsu-ihiteukwa since yesterday.
“Many have fled the communities in Orsu LGA of Imo State for their dear lives leaving the whole place a ghost town, yet the military are not relenting, they want to completely annihilate and wipe us out of the surface of mother earth. I do not know what sins our people have committed to be going through all this.
“Please I want your organisation to come to our aid by giving this story wide publication so that those who do not know the degree of what is happening in Orsu will know and help us talk to the authorities to do the needful.
“Please sir we are going through a lot, we now bury our dead in the city, celebrate traditional marriages in the cities as well as other functions that ought to be observed in the village all due to insecurity. We cannot continue like this. For over two years now, we have not known peace.”