Following a clash between the Department of State Services (DSS) and members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), the Nigerian Army has placed its troops on high alert.
In the Sunday clash in Emene, Enugu State, two DSS officials were reported dead while IPOB declared 21 of its members dead, a claim the police rejected, noting that only four members of the group lost their lives.
In a signal sent to the 82 Division in Enugu, the Nigerian Army authorities warned soldiers in uniform to avoid going out of their barracks alone to avoid reprisal from IPOB.
This is as the proscribed group said it has no plans to engage in reprisals over the killing of its members but would engage in self-defence if necessary.
The authorities also warned the soldiers against losing their rifles to criminal elements.
The signal sent to different formations and unit commanders, read in part, “Following the killing of two DSS personnel at Emene and subsequent attack on Keystone station at Awgu LGA by suspected IPOB members in Enugu State, I am directed to place troops on a high state of alert.
“This is necessary to avert any attack by IPOB members on troops’ location in the AOR (area of responsibility). Furthermore, on no account must troops allow their weapons to be taken away by criminal elements.
“Commanders at all levels must make deliberate efforts to sensitise troops under command to maintain alertness and avoid individual movement in uniforms outside the barracks for now. Please, treat (as) very important and act.”