A Joint Task Force (JTF) consisting of soldiers and police is set to conduct offensive operations in Anambra and Imo states following the killing and destruction of property by gunmen.

It was learnt that aerial and land assaults will focus on Anambra South and Orlu Senatorial District in neighbouring Imo.

Meanwhile, the community vigilante groups in Anambra 176 communities are to be disbanded by the state government following the allegations of compromising the security operations.

Also, a new community vigilante outfit is being formed by the state government towards battling the gunmen.

So far 57 suspects have been arrested in connection with the killings in Anambra, with over 18 killed by government forces.

Anambra State Commissioner of Police Echeng Echeng, who addressed a press conference in Awka on Monday, frowned upon the reluctance of residents to volunteer information on the activities of criminals in their areas.

He insisted there was nothing ‘unknown’ about the gunmen terrorising the state to warrant the ‘unknown gunmen’ tag.

Echeng said: “We are putting together a new community vigilante outfit because the group we have now has compromised the security operations in the state.

“The current one would be disbanded because people do not come up with relevant information about the activities of these criminals and you know that security is a joint thing and it is not for security officers alone.

“This thing you call ‘unknown gunmen’ is wrong because we know them and they are in those communities and they are living with the natives.

“They are not spirits, they are human beings and we have made a lot of arrests and a great number of them were taken out in the course of engaging them.

“They only have shrines where they force the natives to take oaths of secrecy and silence and all these things are basically psychological angles to cow them.
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