The Nigerian Army has denied shooting sleeping members of the Indigenous People of Biafra ( IPOB) and Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra ( MASSOB) in a Catholic Church in Onitsha.
According to a report by News Express, Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, said in a WhatsApp message that they were attacked first. Hear him; “Information not correct. In fact, it was some MASSOB/IPOB elements that attacked troops and other security agencies while they were on patrol. We will certainly give you further details.”
According to earlier reports by eye witnesses, the army invaded a church at 1 am this morning and started shooting sporadically into sleeping members, killing over 20. Another report put the casualty figure at 8, while a later report, though unconfirmed, said civilian northerners have joined the soldiers and were shooting at the IPOB members. The report said 25 have been gunned down.
The report also said the members who marched out later in the morning to commemorate this year’s edition of Biafra Heroes Day were again atacked and killed at Eke Nkpor market.
Below is the report by an eye witness who begged for anonymity; “Today being the 30th of May 2016, Biafrans all over the world are massively commemorating Biafra Heroes and as well observing the 50th Biafra anniversary.
“While we made our way down to Nkpor,we sighted a combined team of Nigerian force men were seen harassing upcoming vehicles and seriously searching them. Biafrans who were heading towards the venue of May 30th Heroes Day Celebration with Biafra Flag, Hats, Shirts were arrested and forced into their Hilux Vans to an unknown destination. As a result of the barbaric act of the Force Men, a huge traffic jam was experienced and passengers who could not be patient enough in the traffic,alighted and trekked to their various destinations.
“As at 8pm on the 29th of May 2016,three IPOB members who came in from Aba heading towards Nkpor were shot dead and their corpses were taken away in a police van. The sporadic shooting by the Nigerian combined team of force men that killed the members led to a stampede, leaving 3 dead and several others injured, while others escaped”.
“Today being the 30th of May 2016, as the Indigenous People Of Biafra gathered at the church at about 2am with the intention of proceeding for the remembrance day, the Nigeria combined force team invaded it and started shooting tear-gas canisters, after which they opened fire, leaving 8 dead. They left with 6 of the corpses, while two others were taken to the mortuary and several others were injured and large numbers forcefully taken into Police Hilux vans”.
“Despite the killings, molestation and harrasment, Indigenous People of Biafra were still sighted moving forward and proceeding to the venue, where the Heroes Day will be observed. At about 9:40am, more Hiluxes and heavily-armed Combined Force Team have been deployed and currently people are been tear-gassed”.
In another report, over 20 people have also been arrested in Owerri. They were going for the rally when security men apprehended them.
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