Several youths were reportedly injured, yesterday, as soldiers, who allegedly came in Hilux Pick-up vans, attacked the Umuahia country home of leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
The IPOB claimed, last night, that five people were killed and about 30 others were injured in the attack.
IPOB Media and Publicity Secretary, Comrade Emma Powerful, told Vanguard that the attackers wore army and police uniforms and drove into the palace of the traditional ruler of Afaraukwu, who is the father of Nnamdi Kanu and started shooting people.
He said in a statement: “We did not clash with anybody or group. The attackers wore Nigerian soldiers and Nigeria Police uniforms and came to kill our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, in his compound at Afaraukwu, Umuahia and started shooting sporadically and killed five people and up to 30 other people had bullet wounds.
After attacking our people, they drove off. They came in five Hilux vans.”
However, the Army has denied claims it attacked the IPOB leader’s residence or that any life was lost.
A statement signed by Major Oyegoke Gbadamosi, Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, 14 Brigade Nigerian Army said: “The attention of 14 Brigade Nigerian Army, has been drawn to fictitious news going round especially on the social media that troops have invaded the home of Nnamdi Kanu and killed three persons.
“This is far from the truth. Rather, it was a group of suspected IPOB militants that blocked the road against troops of 145 Battalion while on show of force along FMC-World Bank Road in Umuahia town, Abia State at about 6.00-6.30pm, today (yesterday).
“They insisted that the military vehicles would not pass and started pelting the soldiers with stones and broken bottles to the point of injuring an innocent female passerby and a soldier, Corporal Kolawole Mathew.
READ ALSO: Nnamdi Kanu Reveals How IPOB Members Stopped Soldiers From Entering His House
“The troops fired warning shots in the air and the hoodlums dispersed. No life was lost.
“Therefore, the public are kindly enjoined to disregard the rumours going round and the fictitious photographs of purported victims of attack.
“Both the soldier and the innocent female passerby have been evacuated to the unit’s Medical Inspection Room and are receiving treatment.
“We would like to use this opportunity to warn mischief makers threatening the peace and security of the country through falsehood such as above.
Members of the public are please requested to go about their lawful business and report any suspicious activity to the nearest police station or security.”
In its reaction to the development, Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, has condemned the attack in its totality, claiming said the attack was another attempt by the Chief of Army Staff to intimidate the people with an army of occupation.
MASSOB said: ‘’President Buhari should understand that Nigeria as a signatory and member of United Nations and African Nation on human and people’s right which is enshrined in human and people rights charter, should stop violating peoples right in the name of giving security where there is no threat to security.
“The operation python dance or Egwu-eke in Biafran land is act of frustration from Nigerian government and the Chief of Army Staff, who has failed to capture the Boko-Haram leader, Shekau on the stipulated date given to him.
“General Tukur Buratai has never deemed it fit to launch operation ‘machiji or kunama meaning operation snake bite or scorpion sting respectively against the Hausa/Fulani herdsmen who went about killing people, raping women and young girls, setting people’s houses ablaze; instead, he is coming to Biafra land to launch unnecessary security operation that is needless due to no threat to security.