The Anambra State Police have refuted claims that the Eastern Security Network (ESN) is based in Umunze, a community in Orumba South Local Government Area of the state.
ESN is the militant wing of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
It has been claimed that the militant group is based in the community and that the state police consider the location a “no-go zone”.
The claim was said to have been attributed to a man who was freed after spending four days in his kidnappers’ camp.
Tochukwu Ikenga, the state police spokesperson, in a statement on Tuesday, described the claim as “mischievous”.
Ikenga, deputy superintendent of police, said the claim was “false and baseless”.
The police spokesperson recalled that a forward operating base in Aguata local government area of the state last month destroyed some IPOB camps in Ogbunka community near Umunze and rescued three persons, including a priest, who were kidnapped
He said three suspects were arrested and three firearms were recovered during the operation.
“Then how can anyone claim that the police describe Umunze as a prohibited zone?” Mr. Ikenga said.
The spokesperson said the divisional police headquarters in Umunze community was “operating at full capacity” and the state police have continued to fulfill their responsibilities to the people of the area.
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“However, the police are aware of insurgent activities in southern Umunze in a neighboring state (Abia) and collaborative efforts are being made to flush them out,” he said.
The Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Aderemi Adeoye, has assured residents of the state that their safety remains a priority of the state police, Ikenga said.
“This is permanent,” Adeoye said of his responsibility to protect residents.
IPOB, a group leading the agitation to create an independent state of Biafra in the southeast and some parts of south-south Nigeria, has been linked to some deadly attacks in the two regions.
However, the group has repeatedly denied any involvement in the attacks.