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IPOB, Army Play the Blame Game Over Sunday Clash

Members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and troops of the 14 Brigade Nigerian Army Sunday clashed in Umuahia in Abia State. Both the Army and the Police accused the pro-Biafran group of provoking the soldiers on normal patrol.

In the clash, a Policeman received machete cut on his head and back while one of the soldiers, Corporal Kolawole Mathew, attached to FOB Umuahia was injured in his left hand and one Mrs. Grace Nwokeukwu of Umuobasi Isiama Afara, Umuahia also had a matchet cut on the head.

IPOB claimed that three persons were shot while scores were wounded when soldiers invaded the country home of the Leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, at Afaraukwu Ibeku, Umuahia in Abia State.

Kanu said the soldiers stormed his home in an armoured tank and about three Hilux vans loaded with heavily armed soldiers. According to him, the soldiers were shooting sporadically as they approached his father’s compound, causing panic and pandemonium among residents of the area.

The IPOB leader said the soldiers wanted to gain entry into his father’s compound but that pro-Biafra members quickly formed human shield around the compound and stoutly resisted them.

His words: “I was resting on Sunday evening when suddenly I was woken up by the blaring of sirens. Initially I thought it was the Commissioner of Police who lives in the neighbourhood that was returning home.

But the blaring persisted and was followed up by sporadic gun shots. “They wanted to bulldoze their way into the palace, but IPOB members formed human shield and resisted them.

They wanted to break the shield and fired at three persons and wounded others before leaving. Everybody including children were running away in confusion.” Kanu, however, said no amount of intimidation would make him abandon the struggle for Biafra independence.

The Army however denied provocation, insisting that IPOB members baricaded the road, preventing military vehicles fom passing. They maintained that soldiers were pelted with stones and broken bottles to the point of injuring an innocent female passerby and a soldier, Corporal Kolawole Mathew. “The troops fired warning shots in the air and the hoodlooms dispersed. No life was lost”.

Meanwhile the Southeast governors immediately held a critical meeting to look into the Sunday clash in order that it does not escalate.

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