…as helicopter hovers around Asaba, Illah
By Festus Ahon
ASABA-APPREHENSION, Thursday enveloped Asaba and lllah community, Oshimili South and North Local Government Area of Delta State as a helicopter hovered around the area, bombing suspected settlements of Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB.
The helicopter which conveyed a combined team of Airforce, police, Army, and Navy, the Vanguard gathered was combing the area for IPOB members.
Another account said residents in the community especially Okpanam especially around St Michael Catholic Church scampered for safety when news broke out that IPOB members were in town to avenge the alleged arrest of their leader, Nnamdi Kalu.
Another version said the apprehension was from herdsmen for a possible reprisal attack over the killing of a cow which provoked the herders to embark on the attack on innocent persons.
In a circulating audio recording, a female voice was heard, urging residents to move towards Asaba on account of attacks by herdsmen.
However, Commissioner of Police, Delta State, Ali Muhammad Ari, said the police were using helicopters to hover the state capital and lllah to disperse members of IPOB and send a signal to them that the command is in charge.
Ari said: “Illah is the base of IPOB. They come from Onitsha, Anambra State to regroup in Illah. We must tell them they are not welcomed in the state. Delta State would be hot for them. Once we identified them through the air we shall make sure we send them parking and if care is not taken deal with them the way they want.” He said the bombing was led by the Airforce, adding that camps some camps of IPOB were bombed by the joint security team.
The acting Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, of the state police command, DSP Bright Edafe described the situation as a hoax.
Edafe who spoke on phone in Asaba said people were just spreading unfounded rumour, insisting that there was nothing like the attack in the community.
He said: “There is nothing like that in Okpanam, the area is peaceful. If they hear the gunshot, they will begin to speculate about what is not happening.
“I can tell you that what is going on in Okpanam is a situation issue which I will not discuss in public.”