Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Aba Biafra protest turns bloody as 7 persons die

It was a bloody day in Aba, the commercial nerve of Abia State on Monday as members of two pro-Biafra groups; Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) clashed while the groups were protesting the continued detention of their leader and Director of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu. Unconfirmed reports from Sahara Reporters have it that about 30 injured members of the two groups who sustained degrees of gunshots were being treated in different parts of the commercial city; a total number of 7persons were reported dead. Report also has it that another person who was said to have been hit by a stray bullet died at a hospital within the city center where the victim was rushed for medical attention, but due to loss of blood and delay in getting medical attention, died in the hospital. Sahara Reporter's Newsman who monitored the protest report that the fracas which ensued between the protesters and the security agencies forced commercial activities to a standstill as many shop owners in various markets and within the city center forcefully closed for business. According to our reporter, a 20-year-old apprentice who was identified as Chidozie Okafor, the only son of his parents and a native of Omuohu, in Eziagu local government council of Enugu State died immediately along St. Michael’s road about1.pmafter a stray bullet allegedly fired by a soldier hit him on his way back to his master’s shop at Pound road after having his lunch. It was gathered that the pro-biafra groups who had forewarned Aba residents last week ofMonday’s protest, after being dispersed by a combined team of security agencies at National High School along Port-Harcourt road; the usual point of takeoff in the morning, later regrouped around Asa and Park road. Sources said that while the protesters had regrouped, security agencies that were on their trail attempted to disperse them, but met stiff resistance by the groups. According to the sources who claimed to have witnessed the incident said soldiers serving under 144 Battalion having seen that they were being overpowered by the protesters, started shooting sporadically in a bid to scare the crowd. They said that the event however took another dimension when the live ammunition from the soldiers’ guns hit some of the protesters. They also confirmed that some members of the protesters were arrested in the process. Checks within Aba reveal that security was beefed up around various military formations and police barracks in Aba and its environs. In a telephone chat with the National Welfare Officer of Uchenna Madu led MASSOB, Mr. Jude Chukwu, he condemned the killings, and alleged that about five members of the group were reported dead, while 30 members of the groups were currently receiving medical attention in undisclosed medical centers in Aba and its environs. Chukwu while blaming police and soldiers for the loss of lives claimed that the protest was peaceful until the security agencies started firing live on unarmed citizens. God please hold Nigeria together and divide the camp of those trying to divide her in Jesus name!.

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