With many people feared killed on Sunday morning in Emene, Enugu State following a violent clash between Nigerian Police and other security operatives and members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), the pro-Biafra group said 21 of its members were killed, threatening that the killings “will be recipocrated in due cause (sic).”
IPOB said in a statement by its Spokesperson, Emma Powerful, that security operatives arrested 47 of its members.
The statement accused the security agencies of “another crude round of killing and massacre against the peaceful and unarmed IPOB family members in Enugu State,” lamenting that the Nigerian Army, Police and DSS (Directorate of State Security) have been “slaughtering our people without any provocation. This rampant killing of innocent members of IPOB will be recipocrated 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 Fulani terrorists herdsmen, Boko Haram terrorists, Ansaru group,Fulani 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.”
Eyewitnesses said that the violent clash between security operatives and IPOB members threw the whole Emene, a town near Enugu State capital and environs into chaos, disrupting church services as worshippers from various churches in the area ran helter-skelter to escape being caught in the crossfire.
Sources said that trouble started at about 7.00 am when some Police officers invaded the Community Secondary School Emene where members of IPOB were meeting, to disperse and arrest them.
But the Police plan meet with resistance, resulting in a encounter bloody with IPOB members who reportedly overpowered them. The police reportedly called for large reinforcement 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. At the end, the source said that the premises of St. Patrick Secondary School was literarily “flowing with blood” as fleeing IPOB members were pursued into by security operatives.