The protest carried out yesterday by members of the indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, in Aba, Abia State, over the prolonged detention of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu, turned bloody in the commercial town, as a team of soldiers and policemen was said to have fired shots at the protesters, killing six members of the group and arresting 20. Other reports say ten persons were killed while another 20 were injured.
It was reported that the protesters had, as early as 9am, converged at the National High School, along Port Harcourt-Aba road, from where they usually march to other areas of the city when security agents swooped on them. Sources said the IPOB members were in prayer session when the soldiers and their police counterparts invaded the area and arrested some leaders of the group.
Eyewitnesses told Vanguard that the casualty figure would have been higher had some of the protesters not escaped, explaining that, “the protesters as usual, gathered at the school to pray before taking off, but soldiers and policemen invaded the area. There was heavy shooting. I saw more than three dead people. Many others were injured.”
The Nation also reports that the protesters gathered at Ibo National High School for prayers before their plan was aborted, quoting a source, who said: “In the morning, we gathered at Ibo National High School for prayers and addressed by the Aba coordinator.
“While the prayers were on, we noticed police patrol vans and because we locked the gate, they could not enter. They attempted to scale the fence, but could not. Shortly after, soldiers came in Hilux vans and scaled the fence.
“When they entered, they asked for our coordinator but we resisted them. The next thing we heard was gunshot. I can’t say how many died because there was a stampede as people tried to escape.”