The soldiers burnt houses and allegedly killed an undisclosed number of youths while looking for ESN members.
Residents of Isingwu, a hamlet in Imama village, Mgbowo, Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State have been left in a state of shock and mourning after Nigerian soldiers invaded the area allegedly shooting and killing undisclosed number of youths.
According to Punch, the soldiers burnt houses and allegedly killed an undisclosed number of youths.
Some residents said that the soldiers were in the community to arrest an alleged leader of the Eastern Security Network, the security arm of the Indigenous People of Biafra, who hailed from the community.
A source told Punch that the said suspect, known as Chocho, was not around when the military personnel invaded the community around 5am and started shooting indiscriminately and burning houses, including the family house of the said suspect.
“They torched his house and sprayed bullets in nearby compounds. In short, the soldiers, who were chanting jihadist songs, were burning property in the community as if they were at war,” he added.
Meanwhile, a coalition of South East Youth Leaders has condemned “the gruesome killing of innocent civilians and burning of their houses and properties by soldiers in the South East” describing it as “wicked, villainous and barbaric.”
The group said the military had no constitutional right to move into a civilian community to kill and burn houses, describing the actions as a genocide.
The statement was signed by the group’s President General and Publicity Secretary, Mr Goodluck Ibem and Okey Nworu, respectively.
The statement partly read, “The soldiers who came for the mission in Awgu were killing people and speaking Fulani and Hausa languages. They were carefully handpicked by their sponsors for the wicked genocide mission.
“We are very aware that the plot to annihilate Ndigbo for the Fulanis to take over Igboland is because the South-East region is predominantly Christian. It is sad that such genocide is happening in a supposed democratic administration where the rule of law, right to life and fundamental human rights are meant to be respected by the government.
“We demand an independent panel of inquiry into the genocide committed by Nigerian soldiers in Isi-Ngwu community and the massive destruction of houses. The soldiers that carried out the burning and killings must be fished out and tried for committing war crime against the people.”
Efforts to get reaction of the Nigerian Army were unsuccessful as the Director of Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, did not take his calls or respond to a text message sent to his line as of the time of filing this report.
The Acting Deputy Director of Army Public Relations, 82 Division, Major Abubakar Abdullahi, told our correspondent to give him some time.
But after several hours, he sent a text which read, “Please get across to the Director of Army Public Relations.”