…4 killed, 5 arrested – Police
By Anayo Okoli & Chinedu Adonu
FOUR persons have been confirmed dead by the police following Sunday morning violent clash between security agents and members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, in Emene, Enugu State.
The police also said that they arrested five members of the IPOB during the clash which threw the whole Emene and environs into chaos as early as 7.00am.
The commotion raised by the clash disrupted church services as worshippers of the various churches in the area ran helter scatter to escape being caught in the crisis.
An eyewitness account said that trouble started at about 7.00am when some police invaded the Community Secondary School Emene where members IPOB were meeting to have their prayers and attempted to disperse and arrest them.
According to the account, the attempt was resisted, turning the encounter bloody with IPOB members reportedly overpowering the security operatives.
In a swift reaction, a large reinforcement was called and over a dozen patrol vans loaded with armed security agents comprising police, army and DSS arrived the scene and faced the Biafran agitators.
Sounds of gunfire and teargas fumes filled the area, particularly between St Patrick Secondary School and St Joseph Catholic Church along the old Abakaliki Road.
One account lamented that the premises of St. Patrick Secondary School was “flowing with blood” as fleeing IPOB members were pursued into the school by security operatives.
At the time of filing the report, military vehicles, including armoured personnel carrier, APC, were seen used to block the roads leading into Emene, though normalcy had returned to the community.
Reacting to the clash, IPOB leadership accused the Federal Government of using security operatives “to exhibit another crude round of killing and massacre against the peaceful and unarmed IPOB family members”.
IPOB in a statement by its spokesman, Emma Powerful said: “The Nigerian government and her security agencies have once again exhibited another crude round of killing and massacre against the peaceful and unarmed IPOB family members in Enugu State, today 23rd of August, 2020.
“We are surprised how Nigerian security agencies would allow their officers in their respective formations like army, police and DSS to be slaughtering our people without any provocation.
“This rampant killing of innocent members of IPOB will be reciprocated in due cause. IPOB members have been slaughtered and arrested in their numbers across different locations in Enugu State today, Sunday 23rd August, 2020.
“We must warn and put the whole world on notice that Nigerian Government and her security operatives should stop killing our people because we are peaceful organization with the mandate of restoring Biafra sovereignty within shortest period.
“Today, the Nigerian security personnel stormed IPOB meeting ground in Enugu and started shooting sporadically which consumed lives of 21 members and 47 arrested for just no cause or provocation.
“It is unfortunate that security operatives murdered innocent members and carried their lifeless bodies to unknown locations. The security in the whole world must understand that keeping quiet and following the rule of law should not be construed as weakness on the part of IPOB.
“IPOB is a well rooted movement committed fully on the pursuit for Biafra freedom and independence from Nigeria. We are not a violent group and there is nothing they can do to change our resolve to maintain peace and order in our land. The efforts of the Nigeria Government and her partners in crime in trying to push IPOB to change their tactics will amount to vanity.
“We are warning and asking Nigeria government and her security operatives to stop this atrocity immediately. Why have they refused to confront herdsmen, Boko Haram terrorists, Ansaru group, bandits, ISIS and other groups ravaging the country and busy killing innocent and unarmed citizens of IPOB?
“Those responsible for this barbaric killing in Enugu today must pay for their actions against IPOB at the appropriate time. It is laughable for DSS to be claiming that they lost 5 personnel in the hands of unarmed and peaceful people. It is clear to all that IPOB doesn’t indulge or carry arm or involve with any object. IPOB is a peaceful movement and we must remain so till Biafra is totally achieved”.