The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) group on Sunday raised an alarm that members of the group had been attacked at the residence of the group’s leader, Nnamdi Kanu in Umuahia, capital of Abia state.
The IPOB group, which claimed that the attack was carried out by members of the Nigeria Army, also described the alleged attack as an attempt by state security agencies to eliminate Kanu.
IPOB had claimed that soldiers in three patrol vans and an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) shot and injured some of its supporters at Kanu’s country home at Afara Ukwu Ibeku, Umuahia.
The group’s leader, Kanu told newsmen that he was resting at around 6.30pm yesterday when one of his relatives drew his attention to heavy presence of soldiers at the main entrance to his family home.
According to the IPOB leader, the soldiers “in a crude show of power” began to shoot sporadically as soon as they move down closer to his family home and in the process injured many people. He, however, urged his supporters to remain calm.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army has denied attacking Kanu’s home but admitted that it fired warning shots after being allegedly blocked from going through the FMC-World Bank road in Umuahia.
“It was a group of suspected IPOB militants that blocked the road against troops of 145 Battalion while on show of force along FMC-Word Bank Road in Umuahia town, Abia State at about 6.00-6.30pm, today. 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,” said army spokesman, Major Oyegoke Gbadamosi.
The army which maintained that no life was lost in the incident urged the public 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,” Gbadamosi said.