Nine pastors, 24 church elders arrested by army in Orlu raid

Fighter Jets

At least nine pastors and 24 church elders have been arrested by soldiers in search of the camps of the personnel of Eastern Security Network (ESN) owned by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in some parts of Orlu Senatorial District.

The church leaders, The Nation learnt, were arrested following the raids that started in January in Orlu communities, especially Njaba, Orsu and Oru East council areas.

While peace seemed to have been restored early February, the military in conjunction with the Intelligence Response Team of the police, stormed the areas last weekend.

Some of those arrested were Presiding Priest of Our Lord’s Sabbath in Umunam Atta Community, Njaba LGA, Rev. Chigozie Nwaka as well as a number of other clerics and church elders in Ubokoro Atta, Okporo, Okwudor.

READ ALSO:   Malami Reveals How Nnamdi Kanu Hijacked ENDSARS Protest

It was gathered before the latest raid, soldiers invaded some churches, including House of Prayer International Covenant Church Okporo Orlu and arrested over 20 members of the church, including clerics.

However, spokesman of the Imo Police Command, Orlando Ikeokwu, told The Nation he was not aware of the arrest and detention of any church member in connection with the Orlu crisis.

But the ongoing military operation in search of the camps of the personnel of the ESN has created panic in Orlu, Njaba and Orsu Local Government Areas.

Our correspondent learnt there has been heavy presence of the military in the communities since last Friday.

Army spokesperson of the 34 artillery Brigade, Obinze, Owerri, Babatunde Zubairu, who confirmed the operation, said the locals were not being harassed.

READ ALSO:   Death of Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu is Shocking - Abia Speaker

He confirmed the deployment of helicopters and other military gadgets in the operations, adding the operation was an offshoot of military intelligence.

An indigene of Umunam Atta Community in Njaba council area, Andrew Ibe, said: “The truth of the matter is that the soldiers are not beating anyone.

“But our concern here is that there may be shooting any moment since their helicopter is hovering over our houses.

“Again, they arrested one of our respected indigenes, who is a priest in the Sabbath Church here. Since Saturday, when he was arrested, nobody has told us why that is so”.

READ ALSO:   Policeman detained for killing Abuja resident

An indigene of Uda Orsuihiteukwa in the Orsu LGA told our correspondent that though no indigene was shot but the military the operation was causing serious panic in the area.

He said “Situation now calm in Udah, Orsuihiteukwa. Military helicopters have left my area a while ago after the surveilance mission. All security Hilux vans have left Udah community for their respective bases.

“Civilians were not in any way harassed in the exercise. No casualties. The invasion may have been warranted by intelligence reports.

Disclaimer: shall not be liable to Opinions, Articles or Features that doesn't emanate from any of its staff and management. We also wish to reiterate that such personal or sponsored opinion, article or feature does not reflect the views of the publishers of, but the writer's
For publication of your news content, articles, videos or any other news worthy materials, please send to | For Advert and other info, you can call 09061217047 or send a WhatsApp Message to 09061217047

“The leaders and office bearers from Orlu zone should address this security instability in our zone now. This is not healthy for the progress and advancement of the biggest Senatorial Zone in Nigeria.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.