We Shot Only Two IPOB Members – Abia State Police Command
The Abia State Police Command has said that its agents shot dead two members of a pro-Biafran group for allegedly disturbing students in their school just as the group claimed that 22 of its members have been confirmed dead after the Tuesday shooting.
The state Police PRO, DSP Udeviotu Onyeke said the groups involved were members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB.
He said: “Some of our men that were on convoy patrol got information that the pro-Biafra groups were harassing students. Then, the Aba Area Commander, Mr Peter Wabara ordered the policemen on ground to go there and make them to leave the place as the schools were in session and if they had wanted to hold their meeting, they should have found another place in order not to disturb anybody.
“So when the police entered the place, they found that the pro-Biafra groups were relatively calm, so the police took positions to ensure that they did not do any harm. Police was only there to ensure they did not come to cause break-down of law and order on the street. But just as the Police was trying to persuade them to leave the place, soldiers drove in and arrested five of their members and began to take them away but the group members blocked the way of the military personnel.
That was when they started shooting at them. “Before the police left the place, they picked two dead unidentified persons from the ground and arrested 20 others while one who was badly injured was taken to the hospital.” He admitted that some other persons might have been injured in the stampede which the police did not know of during the crisis.
However, the state Coordinator of, MASSOB, Mr Anayo Okpala told our correspondent that the police command was telling half truths, stressing that the group had been using the venue for prayers and meetings for many years now.
He said the group met to pray for the release of the IPOB Radio Director, Mr Nnamdi Kanu when the police came and later the Army joined them and began to shoot at them. According to him, the prayers were held in all the states of the South-East and South-South at the few centres hosting the prayer meetings. Mr Okpala said:
“From yesterday to this morning, we counted 22 dead persons and many had various degrees of injuries who had either been shot or killed in the stampede, while many are in hospitals. Some died at the prayer ground but some others have died in the hospitals where they were taken to.”
He said that he was sure at the last count on Wednesday morning that 22 members of the group comprising of MASSOB and IPOB members were dead. Okpala also claimed that the security agents arrested five leaders of the group including the Abia state, Rivers State and Imo state IPOB Coordinators and many other members.