More details have emerged on the reported clash between members of theIndigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and some soldiers in Umuahia, the Abia state capital.
We had reported that the clash which occurredon Monday night, September 4, at the popular Isi Gate area, shut down the cityas business owners were forced to close their shopsover fear of arrest or being caught up in the crisis.
A version of the incident claimed that the refusal of a commercial tricycle operator to hand over Biafra and IPOB insigma in his tricycle to soldiers caused the crisis.
Another version stated that the refusal of the tricycle operator to give money tothe soldiers who were extorting drivers caused the crisis.However, the IPOB in a statement on Monday, September 4, narrated its version of what transpired.
The group said the crisis erupted after acommercial tricycle operator refused to hand over Biafra and IPOB insigma in his tricycle to soldiers at a checkpoint.
Citing eye witnesses who were at the scene at the time of the clash, IPOB said: A commercial tricyclist popularly known as keke driver, had a Biafra flag in front of his tricycle while approachinga check-point, a Nigerian solider stopped him and started asking him what the flag is all about and why he had it in his tricycle.
The man answered the solider by tellinghim that it was a Biafra flag, and that he is a Biafran, the Nigerian solider got provoked and before everyone knew exactly what was going on, the solider slapped the tricyclist and started dragging him away. At a point, the man been brutalised couldn’t bear the pain anymore and started to defend himself but instead of calming the situation down the Nigeria soldier shot his leg.
As the commotion continued, other soldiers around the incident signaled their base, who sent more troops of soldiers to the entire arena of ISI Gate and started firing live bullets at harmless Biafrans who were trying to come to the rescue of the IPOB memberwho was been waxed away.
IPOB said about two persons were killedby the soldiers while several others were arrested and sustained different degrees of chronic injuries.
The group said while the attack ensued the soldiers were heard boasting that Buhari had given them order to shoot and kill all IPOB members including those who were in support of Biafra.
It said: “According to them, Buhari has already deployed soldiers from Kwara State and far North who will use the annoyance and frustration of their experience with Boko-Haram to deal with Biafrans mercilessly.The group alleged that attack on the IPOB members lasted; there was teamwork between Nigeria Armed Forces who were shooting live bullets.IPOB said:“Hausa-Fulani’s who resides in ISI gate, Umuahia who were also firing local made poisonous arrows on armless Biafrans. To put this facts straight, we were also able to pickup a live bullet and an arrow amongst other fired bullets scattered all over the scene.“Finally, we are placing the world on high notice on the ongoing instigation of violence as masterminded by Hausa-Fulani/Arewa cabals. Their aim is just touse the avenue to possibly assassinate the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu by fabricatinglies that IPOB initiated the attack in the first place. The world must take note and hold Nigeria government accountable and responsible