Biafra supporters and Nigerian Army appear to have clashed in Umuahia, Imo State barely One week after the Federal government announced plans to approach the Court and seek legal revocation of the bail granted to Indigenous Peoples Of Biafra, IPOB, leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and just hours after the Nigerian army informed Nigerians that it would begin the second phase of its Operation Python Dance II in the South Eastern states.
Reports and video clips widely circulated on the social media, shows persons dressed as Nigerian soldiers in armoured tank and some patrol vans allegedly invading the home of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu while some IPOB supporters tried to resist them.
The video also shows one of the IPOB supporters who was shot, being attended to by his colleagues as he bled profusely from what appeared to be bullet wounds in his inside thigh, while the military personnel kept shooting live bullets to disperse the irate youths.
The leadership of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Abia State has quickly issued an official comment alleging that this supposed invasion is a deliberate plot by security agencies in the state to eliminate their leader and Director of Radio Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
According to them, Soldiers in three patrol vans and an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) on Sunday, 10 September, reportedly shot and injured many IPOB supporters at the country home of their leader (Kanu) at Afara Ukwu Ibeku, Umuahia, the state capital after some of their members foiled attempt by the soldiers to gain entrance into the palace of Kanu’s father.
They alleged that they had before the foiled invasion got information from a source that the army authorities in the state have concluded plans to come and abduct Kanu since the court was yet to reverse his bail.
Unconfirmed reports from persons believed to be eye witnesses, suggest that three members of IPOB were reportedly shot dead,while others sustained different injuries as the soldiers were said to have fired sporadically to disperse angry youths, following the resistance to allow them gain entrance into Kanu father’s compound.
An ultimatum has also been reportedly given to the Nigerian Army to withdraw from the S/East within Seven days.
However in a swift reaction, the Nigerian Army has debunked the claims and allegations of any such attack, claiming in its own response, that it was a group of suspected IPOB militants that blocked the road against troops of 145 Battalion while on show of force along FMC-Word Bank Road in Umuahia town, Abia State and subsequently attacked the military convoy.
A press statement by the Nigerian Army, signed by Major Oyegoke Gbadamosi, Assistant Director Army Public Relations, 14 Brigade Nigerian Army, and titled: NIGERIAN ARMY DID NOT ATTACK ANYBODY NOR KILL ANYONE, reads thus:
“The attention of 14 Brigade Nigerian Army, has been drawn to fictitious news going round especially on the social media that troops have invaded the home of Nnamdi Kanu and killed 3 persons.
“This is far from the truth. Rather, it was a group of suspected IPOB militants that blocked the road against troops of 145 Battalion while on show of force along FMC-Word Bank Road in Umuahia town, Abia State at about 6.00-6.30pm, today. They insisted that the military vehicles would not pass and started pelting the soldiers with stones and broken bottles to the point of injuring an innocent female passerby and a soldier, Corporal Kolawole Mathew.
“The troops fired warning shots in the air and the hoodlooms dispersed. No life was lost.
“Therefore the public are kindly enjoined to disregard the rumours going round and the fictitious photographs of purported victims of attack. Both the soldier and the innocent female passerby have been evacuated to the unit’s Medical Inspection Room and are receiving treatment.
“We would like to use this opportunity to warn mischief makers threatening the peace and security of the country through falsehood such as above.
“Members of the public are please requested to go about their lawful business and report any suspicious activity to the nearest police station or security outfit.
“You are please requested to disseminate this information to the public through your medium.
“Thank you for your kind cooperation,” the statement concluded.