Police to Arraign Five IPOB Members over Enugu Clash

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•Commercial drivers withdraw services in protest of members’ killing

Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu

The police will soon charge to court five persons arrested in connection with last Sunday’s violent clash between members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and security operatives in Enugu, during which two personnel of the Department of State Services (DSS) were killed.

The spokesman of the Enugu State Police Command, Mr. Daniel Ndukwe, told THISDAY that the five persons so far arrested are in their custody and would soon be taken to court for prosecution after investigations into the incident has been concluded.

However, IPOB alleged that 21 of its members were killed while 47 others were arrested by the police and DSS.
But yesterday, bus drivers in Enugu State withdrew their services, over alleged killing of two of their members by the police and DSS during Sunday’s clash with IPOB members.

The Biafran separatist group yesterday vowed to retaliate the attack and killing of its members.
The IPOB Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Emma Powerful, in a statement, said their leader, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, had directed them to stop holding meetings in the state in view of the violent clash.

He said the decision was to allow the group appraise and handle what he called “unprovoked and unwarranted attack by the Nigerian security agencies on armless IPOB members.”
Kanu was said to have also asked his members to henceforth defend themselves in the event of an unprovoked attack by security operatives, warning that enough is enough.

“Our leader gave the order yesterday during his worldwide broadcast that any time Nigeria security personnel attack our members without provocation, IPOB will reciprocate immediately and those saboteurs and inconsequential traitors must go down without delay.

“Time has gone when IPOB would no longer allow soldiers and police in Nigeria uniforms to be killing and slaughtering innocent and unarmed citizens of Biafra. Therefore, Nigeria police must leave IPOB members alone; we are not happy seeing our people are being murdered in cold blood without any offence.

“We remain peaceful in our agitation but nobody should take our stand for granted because we must respond accordingly. Our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is a patient man who loves his people of Biafra and other tribes scattered all over Nigeria.

“Oduduwa’s Amotekun are armed; Fulani Miyetti Allah are armed; Fulani terror herdsmen are armed; Fulani-funded bandits are armed; Fulani Ansaru Brigade is armed. They all gather in public without any military interference.
“But as soon as Biafran youths congregate in any location to pray, every Nigerian military formation, including police, DSS, army, air force stationed in Biafraland will descend on them, firing indiscriminately with the intention of killing as many innocent people as possible because IPOB is a peaceful movement,” he added.

However, a day after the violent clash, a combined team of the police, DSS and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, (NSCDC) yesterday embarked on a show of force in Enugu.

The security operatives drove around the capital city, in a bid to send a strong signal to members of the IPOB who have threatened to retaliate Sunday’s attack and alleged killing of some of its members by security operatives.

Bus drivers in Enugu State have suspended their services in protest against the alleged killing of their members by security operatives during the clash.

The drivers alleged that the police and DSS killed two of their members during the incident and demanded that justice must be done to the deceased.

But the Chairman of Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) in the state, Chidiebere Aniagu, said his members were not part of the protest.