In News by Oluwaseun Samuel on the 27th, August, 2020

How Safety Brokers Searching For IPOB Killed Unarmed Individuals

How Security Agents Hunting For IPOB Killed Unarmed People

IPOB

Photograph credit score: The PUNCH

Raphael Ede writes on how safety companies and members of the Indigenous Individuals of Biafra, on Sunday, turned their weapons on the sleepy Emene neighborhood in Enugu State the place no fewer than 10 individuals had been killed


The residents of Emene neighborhood within the Enugu East Native Authorities Space of Enugu State are nonetheless in consternation following the killing of some youths by safety brokers comprising the troopers, air drive personnel, the police and operatives of the Division of State Companies on Sunday, August 23, 2020, throughout a clampdown on members of the Indigenous Individuals of Biafra.

IPOB members had been mentioned to be having Jewish prayers and coaching in martial arts when the DSS attacked them.

It was gathered that when a dozen patrol vans loaded with safety brokers armed to the tooth arrived on the neighborhood, they turned their weapons on the IPOB members, who reportedly took to their heels.

Eyewitnesses mentioned that within the ensuing confrontation, gunshots and teargas fumes crammed the air between the St. Patrick’s Secondary Faculty and St. Joseph’s Catholic Church alongside the previous Abakaliki Highway and the premises of St. Patrick’s Secondary Faculty flowed with blood as fleeing IPOB members had been pursued into the streets.

Scores of Catholic trustworthy, who had been on their approach to the 7am Mass, had been mentioned to have run helter-skelter, whereas these already within the church needed to endure teargas fumes that enveloped the complete setting.

Members of the neighborhood, nonetheless, need these safety males, who killed their little children, to be delivered to justice.

Sunny Okoroafor is a retired soldier, who witnessed the carnage. He mentioned the day might finest be described as a ‘Black Sunday’ and the occasions can be engraved within the historical past of the neighborhood for generations, stating, “What occurred was an unjustifiable motion by Nigerian safety forces in opposition to the Igbo.”

The incident threw Emene and its neighbours into chaos and disrupted church providers as worshippers on the varied church buildings within the space ran helter-skelter to flee being fell by bullets.

“I noticed six unarmed youths killed in chilly blood in entrance of my home, different residents mentioned extra individuals had been killed and that the army males took their corpses away earlier than the police got here and evacuated these I noticed,” Okoroafor said.

Narrating the incident, which he mentioned was captured on digicam, Okoroafor mentioned the Emene Neighborhood Excessive Faculty was a significant sporting area in the complete neighborhood and completely different units of individuals, together with IPOB members, practice and have their conferences there.


“My kids used to remain on the faculty to review and play. IPOB members additionally come to the college to have their conferences and practice in martial arts each Sunday. They’ve been doing that for a number of months to the extent that different youths bought and had been coming to coach with them in martial arts.

“The earlier Sunday, there was a hearsay that the army would come to disturb them, however on the finish, nothing like that occurred and so they held their coaching and left. So, on Sunday, August 23, 2020, I used to be in my home round 7.05am when my daughter bumped into the home shivering. She mentioned policemen got here into the place the place these kids had been having their assembly and certainly one of them pointed a gun at her head.

“She mentioned that the person allowed her to go when she instructed him that she got here to promote water to these engaged in bodily train, which the IPOB guys had been a part of. Over 50 individuals had been there engaged in varied sporting actions.

“So, I got here out to look at what was occurring and I noticed two Hilux vans blocking the doorway to the college. I noticed operatives of the DSS and a few of the IPOB guys they seized of their automobile.

“About three minutes later, these DSS guys began taking pictures and that lasted greater than 5 minutes. I don’t know whether or not it was the individuals inside the college that they had been taking pictures at, however the subsequent factor I noticed was the IPOB boys pursuing the DSS guys with stones, woods and bottles, whereas a few of them had been bleeding as they had been working. Some robust ones amongst them continued the chase and eventually sized one of many operatives, whereas the others jumped into their autos and zoomed off.”

Okoroafor added, “Sadly, one of many DSS guys missed their automobile and he ran throughout the highway searching for an escape route. I learnt he was a type of, who began taking pictures on the unarmed IPOB boys. So, the IPOB boys pursued him with sticks, stones and planks and finally caught him; they introduced him to the principle highway and stoned him.

“These IPOB boys weren’t bearing arms, however what I noticed was that a few of them had charms, as a result of when these DSS operatives had been taking pictures at them, the IPOB boys had been pursuing them and when the state of affairs bought tense, the operatives jumped into their autos and ran away. I’m not telling you a narrative. I used to be there as an eyewitness.

“I learnt that the one individual, who was killed and burnt, was filming them after they had been protesting and after they wished to take his telephone, he resisted; that was what I used to be instructed.”

Mr Chijioke Ezeh, who lives adjoining to the Neighborhood Excessive Faculty, corroborated Okoroafor’s account, saying, “I used to be getting ready to go for the 7am Mass at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church once I began listening to speedy gunshots. This lasted shut to 5 minutes and I appeared by way of the window and noticed males clad in black apparel with the inscription, ‘DSS’.

“They had been taking pictures on the individuals inside the college compound; some fell down and a few didn’t. The subsequent factor was that they had been working and IPOB boys had been pursuing them to the gate with sticks and stones they grabbed within the faculty.

“About 20 minutes later, I noticed many individuals bleeding from bullet wounds being conveyed to hospital. Angered by the event, after these DSS guys had run away, the boys began making bonfires in the midst of the roads to forestall vehicular motion, however individuals had been allowed to trek.

“The IPOB guys began protesting and chanting, ‘What did we do to the federal government that made the DSS to come back and shoot us the place we’re taking part in in our neighborhood? What offence did we commit?’ They had been chanting and going up and down, however none of them bore arms, besides a number of with sticks.”

Eze added that the IPOB males began telling individuals dwelling alongside the highway to go inside their homes and their members, who weren’t robust sufficient, to search out their manner and even passers-by to remain off the highway, as a result of the safety brokers would come for them.

He said, “My daughter filmed the whole lot from higher ground of our home. After some minutes, the DSS guys bolstered and got here with the army and the police, all of them numbering over 50, with over 30 Hilux vans and began taking pictures on the protesting IPOB members from completely different instructions. They blocked all of the strategic roads with armoured personnel carriers and had been taking pictures unarmed youths and carrying their corpses away. They killed individuals going to church and tricycle riders.

“These our bodies the troopers didn’t carry away in the course of the taking pictures that lasted greater than 30 minutes had been mendacity on the roads after the incident. The images of these ones are everywhere in the social media.”

Okoroafor additionally said, “I noticed 4 useless our bodies mendacity on the principle highway in entrance of my home, and the safety brokers got here and took the our bodies away. Additionally they went inside the road and got here out with 5 IPOB members, whose palms had been tied to their backs. I additionally noticed two extra corpses they had been carrying of their automobile.”

One other resident and an eyewitness, Mrs Onyekachi Asogwa, described the killings of unarmed Igbo youths by safety forces as callous and unjustifiable.

She said, “What these DSS guys did was unsuitable; you don’t come and kill unarmed residents the place they had been holding a gathering. They’d been having the assembly each Sunday for a number of months in the identical venue and nothing occurred. They’d by no means attacked anyone nor has anyone complained in opposition to them. Each Sunday, for those who come right here this place, it’s all the time crammed up with autos and tricycles.

“The police have come right here on a number of events to observe what they had been doing and after, they’d go away. The boys don’t put on Biafra uniform or any insignia, so I ponder why the DSS males would come and begin taking pictures unarmed civilians. I don’t know why they got here when individuals are dying someplace else, when herdsmen are killing individuals, kidnapping individuals for ransom in all places in Enugu State and nothing was being carried out.

One other resident, Chukwuemeka Nishi, mentioned that what pained him essentially the most was that the individuals being shot at had been unarmed, stating, “Is it not insanity? In case you have arms, you shoot at one other individual with arms. You possibly can’t shoot any person who doesn’t have arms. It’s an aberration and unethical to shoot an unarmed individual. It contravenes the foundations of engagement within the army and even within the police.

“The safety males did what they did as a result of Nigeria is an anarchistic state and no person will converse for the useless; in any other case, they wouldn’t have carried out what they did. You possibly can think about the state governor got here right here and mentioned nothing and the subsequent day his photos flooded pages of newspapers. Is it not unhappy that unprovoked safety males killed your residents and also you got here and mentioned nothing to the individuals you declare to be governor over? It is rather unlucky.”

The state Commissioner of Police, Ahmad AbdurRahman, who spoke with The PUNCH on the phone, confirmed the killings, however mentioned solely 4 individuals died and that the police recovered their corpses after the incident, however he accused IPOB of being chargeable for the loss of life of the victims.

He, nonetheless, didn’t account for these his males and troopers killed when requested in regards to the corpses the army took away.

AbdurRahman said, “I used to be alerted that members of the Indigenous Individuals of Biafra had been on the rampage alongside the Ebonyi-Enugu Expressway by Emene, firing indiscriminately within the air and on the similar time making bonfires on the highway.

“It was an operation that was carried out by the DSS. They didn’t invite us. They thought they may do it peacefully. So, it was later that the operation turned sadly bloody, when IPOB took their males into custody.

However a type of arrested instructed newsmen that they had been solely having an train on the faculty, which was the observe each morning, when the DSS stormed the place and began taking pictures.

In the meantime many Igbo people and teams, together with the Senate Minority Chief, Senator Enyinaya Abaribe, and the Ohaneze Ndigbo, have referred to as on the Enugu State Authorities of to arrange a panel of enquiry to unravel the reality surrounding the incident, describing the killing of unarmed Igbo youths by safety brokers as now not acceptable.

***

Supply: The PUNCH

READ ALSO:  Enugu Police Say IPOB Shot At Them First, However Nigerians Disagree (Learn Full Assertion)

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