• Eyewitness alleges 15 died
• Trucks burnt in IPOB, army clash
• Ikpeazu declares curfew in Aba
• Troops attack NUJ office, journalists
• Ohanaeze asks FG to stop military

operation, says it escalates crisis
There was tension in Abia State yesterday as
soldiers laid siege to the Afaraukwu country
home of the leader of the Indigenous People of
Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, and clashed with
members of his group leading to the alleged
death of 15 persons.

It was learnt that the soldiers arrived in the
community yesterday barely 48 hours after the
clash between them and IPOB members on
Sunday evening.
The return of the soldiers with about 10
armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and seven
Hilux vans caused panic in the area, forcing
shop owners to close immediately. Some of the
soldiers also invaded the Abia State Council of
the Nigeria Union of Journalists on Aba Road,
Umuahia, and destroyed laptops and other
valuables. According to journalists at the
secretariat, the soldiers claimed they saw
somebody taking photographs of them from
the building.

The Chairman of Council, Mr. John Emejor,
who confirmed the incident, said a national
officer of the union, Ezeogo Bonny Okoro was
slapped by one of the soldiers.
“Our stand is that those involved in this attack
on innocent journalists should be fished out
and punished in line with the constitution of
the country,” he said.
The Assistant Director, Army Public Relations,
14 Brigade, Major Oyegoke Gbadamosi,
confirmed the incident and asked Emejor to
send the photograph of the damaged office to
him.

Yesterday, truckloads of IPOB members headed
for Afaraukwu apparently to show solidarity to
Kanu. Some members of the group moving into
Umuahia were allegedly confronted at Isiala-
Ngwa junction yesterday afternoon by soldiers.
Some of the trucks conveying IPOB members
waving the Biafra flags were seen on the
dilapidated Enugu-Port Harcourt highway
yesterday evening on their way to Abia State.
What started like a drama of sort at the
Isialangwa junction in Abia later snowballed
into a major crisis that claimed lives and
injuries. The Guardian learnt that at least 10
trucks were burnt with over 15 dead bodies
lying on the Aba-Port Harcourt highway
yesterday evening.

It was learnt that the majority of those who
died were either felled by bullets allegedly
fired by soldiers or hit by other objects while
trying to escape.
A source disclosed how the trouble began: “On
getting to Isiala Ngwa junction after Aba, they
encountered an army check point which
refused to allow them continue in their
movement. This sparked off a quarrel as many
other truckloads joined them. During the
ensuing confrontation, bullets began to go up,
especially when the IPOB members attempted
to force their way to Umuahia.

“At the checkpoint so many people were
injured, some received head cuts, some were
arrested and there were some who also lost
their lives.”

Information about the incident which spread
to Aba, Obigbo, Port Harcourt in River State
had infuriated members of the IPOB who
poured into the streets and started destroying
things and attacking security agents, including
policemen on duty.
A source said he was searched at many
locations between Bayelsa and Aba. “I saw
dead bodies on the way and I thank God I did
not run into the crisis. I saw bonfires made
here and there and trailers that were set on
fire.”

A source also said that most places in Obigbo in
Rivers State were vacated after soldiers
stormed the area in search of IPOB boys who
blocked major roads in protest against the
killing of their members at the Isiala Ngwa
junction.
A meeting scheduled to hold on Friday by
governors of the south-east zone to discuss
issues relating to the Biafra agitation may no
longer hold as Kanu has opted out. It was
learnt that Ebonyi State Governor and
Chairman of South-east Governors’ Forum,
Dave Umahi, had called the meeting as a
follow-up to the one held in Enugu on August
30.


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