The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has declared 40 of its members missing after an alleged clash with the police and Nigerian Army personnel in Anambra State on Thursday evening.
The group’s spokesman, Emma Powerful, in statemen on Friday, said a combined team of police and Army personnel attacked its members who were returning from the burial of one of their members, Odika Esieme Chukwuma from Igbo Ukwu, Anambra State.
Powerful said the group was at Nnewi, at about 5.30pm Thursday evening when it was attacked by the security personnel who shot at them, leaving scores of its members with injuries.
It said it had taken stock and discovered 40 of its members missing as a result of the attack.
It called for the immediate release of such members, warning that the group would not tolerate the unprovoked molestation of its members by security operatives.
Part of the statement read, “IPOB and its leadership worldwide once again wish to draw the attention of the general public and the world at large to the dangerous attacks and arrest of IPOB members in Anambra State last night (Thursday), who went for burial of an IPOB member who was among those killed last year during the operation python dance ll in Umuahia, Abia State.
“It is so wicked and barbaric that Nigerian Government through her security operatives killed most of IPOB members during Operation Python Dance II in Umuahia last year and refused to allow IPOB to bury the bodies of those they killed.
“This barbaric attack by a combined team of Fulani dominated Nigerian Army and Nigerian Police happened at Nnewi when IPOB family members who went for a burial for one of our IPOB family members by name Odika Esieme Chukwuma, from Igbo Ukwu in Anambra State.
“He belonged to IPOB Obosi Zone.
After the burial, as our people were returning from the village of the deceased around 5:30pm and on reaching St Mary’s Catholic Church, where they were supposed to disperse to their various homes, they were accosted by a team of Nigeria security agents and without any provocation they began shooting at our people.
“In the ensuing chaos some people fell down and the buses they were traveling in climbed over some of them. Many were injured resulting from gunshots from the army and police. Many more were taken away by the army and police to unknown destinations. Some people had their cars seized, others with motorcycles had it taken away from them too.”
IPOB indicted Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State and the Dr Nnia Nwodo led Ohaneze Ndigbo of being responsible for the action if the security personnel.
It particularly indicted Obiano for issuing the orders being carried out by the security agencies against its members.
“Once again the Nigerian Government, through Gov. Willie Obiano has instructed their combined security forces of Army, Police, SARS and DSS to commence their shoot to kill policy on unarmed peaceful IPOB and to arrest anybody suspected to be an IPOB member anywhere in Biafraland.
“These are the same Nigerian security agencies that are collaborating with killer Fulani herdsmen, granting amnesty to Boko Haram terrorists but in Biafraland they are busy killing and massacring innocent men, women and children at random in every community in Southern and Middle Belt Region of Nigeria.”