At least twenty officers of the Imo State Police Command clashed with members of Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) and Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) at Orji in Owerri North Council Area of the state.
Naija News understands that the clash occurred at Orji between the Orji fly over and Ama wire. The clash, according to an eyewitness, led to the exchange of gunfire that led to some members of the two organisations sustaining serious injuries.
According to reports, the IPOB members were waiting at Orji/Okigwe road Owerri Imo State to receive the corpse of a member Onyekachukwu Uzoma from Mbaise, who died at Enugu, when they clashed with the operatives.
The situation, according to a report by The Nation newspaper, forced security operatives to block the road, preventing human and vehicular moments in the area, with an eyewitness saying passersby scampered for safety when gunshots were fired.
Media and Publicity Secretary of IPOB, Comrade Emma Powerful, who confirmed the incident, alleged that the police shot at the members “when Imo IPOB family were waiting at Orji to receive the dead body of our member been conveyed from Enugu to Mbaise when they were shot by the police operatives with many of them sustaining injuries.
“The Nigeria and army and SARS started shooting sporadically at our IPOB members. Nigeria Army and Police have started once again pushing us to the wall.
“IPOB is not happy how Nigeria government are killing Biafrans and other Christians in Nigeria.
“We are warning Nigeria government and her security operatives to stop attacking IPOB because they will regret their actions soon.”
When contacted, the State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Orlando Ikeokwu, on the other hand, denied gunshots were fired, stressing that the police were only trying to restore normalcy in the area.
According to him: “MASSOB members mounted roadblock and then-Police was trying to restore normalcy.”
“They also attacked a team of policemen attached to Orji Division along Owerri/Okigwe Road by the Orji Flyover.
“The hoodlums while trying to dispossess the policemen of their service rifles also inflicted machete wounds on the policemen.
” However, the attack was successfully repelled with arrests made, while some others ran away with various degree of injuries.”