- Biafra Protesters
The Nigerian Army has explained that its troops, alongside other security agencies, invoked the extant Rules of Engagement by acting in self-defence as well as in defence of lives and properties in the attack on protesting Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, and Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, on Monday.
The army when shot dead five members of the groups.
The pro-Biafra activists were killed as they marched to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the declaration of the defunct Biafra Republic by late leader of the old Eastern region, Odumegwu Ojukwu, but the Army claimed that the MASSOB and IPOB members launched an attack on peace loving populace as well as security agencies while marking the first anniversary of the democratically elected government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a statement signed by Colonel HA Gambo, Deputy Director of Army Public Relations, 82 Division of the Nigerian Army in Enugu, the army stressed that the major objective of the security agency was to ensure peace, security and stability.
The statement reads, “Due to the wide spread panic, tension and apprehension that generated from the activities of the MASSOB and IPOB members, security agencies which comprised of detachment of Nigerian Navy, Nigeria Police, Department of State Service, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency were compelled to intervene in consonance with constitutional provisions of aid to civil authority where and when such occasion demands. The over arching imperative to ensure a reign of peace, security and stability in this circumstance was most starring.
“In the aftermath of the fire fight that ensued, many of own troops sustained varying degrees of injury. These injured troops are currently receiving treatment at own medical centre. Similarly, 5 members of MASSOB/IPOB were killed, 8 wounded while 9 were arrested for due legal actions.”
The statement said the unfortunate incident notwithstanding, “the 82 Division Nigerian Army wishes to assure all of its professional commitment to the protection of lives and property of the good people of the state.