ESN operatives in January had a bloody clash with the Nigerian Army from Obinze barracks, where four soldiers were reportedly killed.
A video of the aerial bombardments on Thursday surfaced with fresh tension and anxiety building in the communities.
“Nigerian soldiers are currently conducting aerial strikes in our areas. Many innocent lives may be lost. They are probably looking for ESN operatives who are checking the activities of killer Fulani herdsmen,” a community head said.
“People’s homes and market places may be affected. We don’t need aircraft in Orlu. They should go and find the stolen school pupils in Niger State,” another angry resident said.
It was reported last December that the Nigerian Army deployed combat helicopters, gun trucks, and soldiers to search some suspected forests in the South-East states where the ESN, launched by Nnamdi Kanu, was said to be camping.
The military search had been going on for days, and had no time frame, as the army was acting on “orders from above.”
A video, from the drones and hidden cameras believed to be installed by the ESN, had captured the Nigerian Army helicopters and their vehicles and soldiers searching for the camp of the ESN for possible arrests.
Kanu, leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, on December 12, launched the ESN, saying the regional security outfit, just like Amotekun in the South-West, would help to tackle crimes and criminalities.
“The Nigerian Army that is supposed to fight Boko Haram was seen everywhere searching for the camp of Eastern Security Network team. But they forgot they are dealing with But they forgot they are dealing with sophisticated men. There are cameras and drones everywhere watching them,” an official had said.