Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 24 November 2018 | 2,100 times
A clash on Friday between members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and police officers from Nnewi Division, Nnewi North Local Government Area of Anambra State, has left two persons feared dead.
News Express gathered that the clash which took place at the popular Nkwo Nnewi market while IPOB members were allegedly celebrating the reappearance of their leader, Nazi Nnamdi Kanu and also driving home their “no referendum, no 2019 election” stance took the life of an Inspector of police and a member of IPOB.
The about 2,000 pro-Biafra agitators while waving the Biafran flag, moved round, urging traders not to participate in the elections unless the federal government were ready to heed to their call for a referendum.
It was leant that trouble started when police officers stormed the scene in three Hilux vans and made to stop the protest.
A source who spoke to News Express said that the Biafran agitators on sighting the security operatives pounced on the police officers and destroyed their vans, leaving two people.
He said: “Immediately the fight started, people started running for their while traders immediately locked up their shops.”
In a statement by IPOB Media and Publicity Secretary, Comrade Emma Powerful, had earlier in a statement, said members of the group were in the industrial city of the state to express joy over the second coming of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu, in Jerusalem.
He said the reappearance of their leader was a clear testimony that the struggle for Biafra actualisation was divine.
The statement reads in part: “IPOB volunteers marched along all major streets and roads of Biafraland today to register their happiness over the second coming and reappearance of our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in Jerusalem, the state of Israel last month.
“Our leader’s reappearance in Israel after the Nigerian government and her security forces including the Nigerian Army, Air force and Naval forces invaded his compound at Afaraukwu Ibeku Umuahia in Abia State last year September is clearly an indication to all and sundry that God Almighty is behind the struggle for Biafra liberation.
“Biafrans are equally today showcasing to the world that we are ready to boycott every Nigerian elections come 2019 especially presidential election next year.
“Our march today on the roads and streets across Biafra land must send signals to politicians and saboteurs among us that Biafrans are determined to leave the prison called Nigeria where British government experimented to lead black Africans and other black nations across the globe but failed to live up to the expectations for over 100 years because of the Hausa Fulani caliphate dominations.”
The statement said that the rally was replicated in all the states across Biafraland “which include Enugu, Anambra, Imo, Abia, Delta, Rivers, Cross Rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, as well as other Biafra clans and tribes fraudulently carved into Benue, Kogi and Edo states.”
IPOB insisted that the unrelented efforts by IPOB family worldwide to restore Biafra sovereignty must continue unless Nigeria Government and it’s handlers give a date for Biafra referendum to ascertain whether Biafrans would want to continue its stay in Nigeria or leave.
The statement added: “We are much aware that some unscrupulous individuals and groups including those Biafran stocks who work with Nigeria Government and those who prefer to be slaves in their own fathers land to the detriment of Biafra restoration project.
“IPOB is divinely ordained restore Biafra sovereignty out of this enclave called Nigeria. We are coming to show Nigerians and its handlers including their security apparatus what is called civil disobedience because IPOB is more of intellectuals than daft.”
In a press release from the state police command, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Haruna Mohammed, said that the fracas left some police officers with machete cuts
Officers affected include, CPS, Nnewi Division, CSP Babalola Adewunyi, ASP Micheal Duru attached to Area Command, Nnewi and Inspector Akinbami Olaniyi attached to CPS Nnewi.
The press release reads: “On 23/11/2018 at about 11:55 a.m., there was intelligence report that members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) were sighted gathering in their hundreds near Teaching Hospital, Owerri Road, Nnewi with intent to cause a breach of the Public Peace.
“Following the report, Police Patrol teams led by the Area Commander, Nnewi ACP Nnanna Ama mobilised and rushed to the scene in order to disperse and prevent them from causing a breakdown of law and order.
“As soon as Police arrived the Scene, the rampaging IPOB members descended on the Police, set ablaze one Patrol vehicle and attacked them with machetes and stones. They also marched towards the Agbaedo Market shouting ‘No Elections Without Referendum’.”
According to the PPRO, the injured personnel were rushed to the Hospital for medical attention; where the Inspector was certified dead by a medical doctor while the DPO and the ASP are presently receiving treatment.
He said the Command had deployed reinforcements from the State Headquarters comprising of PMF, FSARS and Special Anti Cult Units who dispersed them and restored normalcy in the area.
Mohammed said that thirty four suspects have so far been arrested while Joint Police/Army Patrols are still ongoing in the town to prevent further breakdown of law and order.
He noted that two AK 47 rifles and one Beretta Pistol loaded with ammunition were snatched from the Police by the IPOB members even as he added that efforts are being intensified to recover the rifles and apprehend the fleeing suspects in order to bring them to justice.
The Command however called on members of the Public to go about their lawful businesses insisting that IPOB remains a proscribed organisation and its’ activities remain illegal.
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