On Thursday, the police in Imo State clashed with the members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) at Ama wire Orji in Owerri where they were said to have gathered to receive the corpse of one of their members. Eyewitness account revealed that the early morning incident led to sporadic gunshots that caused panic and fear in the neighbourhood.
However, reacting to the incident, media and publicity secretary of IPOB, Emma Powerful explained that their members were only at the location to receive the body of one of their own when the police shot and killed some of their members.
He said, “The Nigeria, Army and SARS started shooting sporadically at IPOB members. The Nigerian army and police have started once again, pushing us to the wall. IPOB is not happy how the Nigerian government and her partners in crime are killing Biafrans and other Christians in Nigeria. We are warning the Nigerian government and her security operatives to stop attacking IPOB because they will regret their actions soon.”
Powerful however appealed to the Imo State governor, Hope Uzodinma to use his good office to treat those with bullet wounds and release those arrested. “Nigerian security agents who attacked IPOB in Owerri should also release those dead bodies they killed during this invasion at Owerri. We are wondering why Hope Uzodinma, the governor would allow security agents to attack innocent and unarmed members of IPOB who are waiting to receive the dead body of IPOB family member who died in Enugu.”
But the State Police Public Relations Officer, Orlando Ikeokwu claimed that the Biafra group numbering over one hundred actually wanted to dislodge some of their officers at the Orji division of their riffles but were repelled by policemen on duty. He added that same scenario occurred earlier on Thursday when the Biafra agitators at New Owerri area attempted to snatch the riffle of the officers on duty, adding that though they were overpowered but inflicted machete cut injuries on two policemen.
While urging the public to stay away from the group, he disclosed that some IPOB members were arrested and others escaped with various degrees of injury. “The attack was successfully repelled with arrests made, while some others ran away with various degrees of injuries. Parents, and guardians are advised to warn their children, wards not to allow themselves to be used to foment trouble as the command will not tolerate any act of violence anywhere within the state especially against officers and men of the force.”