The leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra and founder of the Eastern Security Network, Nnamdi Kanu, has advised the 101 soldiers accused by the Nigerian Army of fleeing the Boko Haram attacks in New Marte and Dikwa towns in Borno State to join the ESN.
Kanu added that soldiers were leaving the military and the army had ordered for their arrest, noting that the ESN's doors were open to such soldiers.
The IPOB leader stated these in a live broadcast on Wednesday, saying the gunmen who were burning police stations were “avenging for us.”
Kanu said, “Sometimes I wonder, how can you come from the East, West and Middle Belt, and you are in the army? And they used you to go and fight the bandits so that you can be killed.
“Today, soldiers are leaving and they have ordered for their arrest for leaving the army. And I am telling all these soldiers to go and join the Eastern Security Network. Today, we have all these unknown gunmen; they have been avenging for us and if you come and kill us, they will avenge for us.”
On Wednesday, it had been reported that the Nigerian Army gave an order to declare 101 soldiers wanted, for fleeing the Haram terrorists’ attacks in New Marte and Dikwa towns near Maiduguri.
The army through the Operation Lafiya Dole Theatre Command had also ordered that their bank accounts be frozen pending when they would report themselves to the command.
The Theatre Command Headquarters had sent a memo to the Nigerian Army Headquarters, Abuja, to freeze the listed accounts and apprehend the alleged deserters if found.
“You are requested to declare the named officers and soldiers deserters WEF 19 Feb 21,” the document said. You are also please requested to cause the Headquarters, NAFC, to freeze their accounts and apprehend or bring them under military escort to this headquarters if seen within your Area of Responsibility,” the military memo had said.
The soldiers of 153 Task Force Battalion were ambushed in Marte Local Government Council, late last month, as the troops were overwhelmed and could not match the ammunition carried by the terrorists.
After Marte was captured by Boko Haram, the Chief of Army Staff, Maj Gen Ibrahim Attahiru, had given troops of Operation Lafiya Dole 48 hours to clear insurgents off Marte LGA and surrounding communities under the insurgents’ control.
The villages under the terrorists control were the Kirenowa, Kirta, Wulgo and Ngala Local Government Areas of the state.
The soldiers went through Marte, successfully killing the ISWAP and Boko Haram terrorists who captured that area for some days.
Also, Dikwa was attacked by the insurgents earlier this week and abducted no fewer than seven humanitarian workers from the town.