– IPOB member, Okonkwo, says the refusal of a commercial tricycle operator to hand over Biafra and IPOB insigma in his tricycle to soldiers caused the crisis in Umuahia
– The IPOB member says the soldiers claimed that President Buhari had ordered them kill all IPOB members including those who were in support of Biafra
More details have emerged on the reported clash between members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and some soldiers in Umuahia, the Abia state capital.
plusmilang.com had reported that the clash which occurred on Monday night, September 4, at the popular Isi Gate area, shut down the city as business owners were forced to close their shops over 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 to the soldiers who were extorting drivers caused the crisis. However, a member of IPOB, Somto Okonkwo, in a statement on Monday, September 4, narrated his version of what transpired.
Okonkwo said the crisis erupted after a commercial 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, Okonkwo said: “A commercial tricyclist popularly known as keke driver, had a Biafra flag in front of his tricycle while approaching a 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 telling him 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 member who was been whisked away.”
The IPOB member said about two persons were killed by the soldiers while several others were arrested and sustained different degrees of injuries.
He 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.
He 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.”
Okonkwo alleged that while the attack on the IPOB members lasted; there was teamwork between Nigeria Armed Forces who were shooting live bullets.
He dismissed the narrative that its member instigated the crisis, adding that the world must take note and hold the Nigeria government responsible for the violence that occurred.
Okonkwo uploaded photos of some shell casing found at the scene of the scene of the clash: Okonkwo posted a video of the incident as seen below: