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Nigerian military, police deny killing of Biafran agitators 

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•Test-driving repaired APC for “show of force”

Jude Johnson 

The Nigerian military has denied that its forces invaded the home of the leader of Indegenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, in Umuahia, Abia State in South East of the country, killing three people in the process.

This is coming as conflicting reports and video circulating the social media suggests that some IPOB members were shot my heavily armed soldiers patrolling the area.
But the Assistant Director Army Public Relations (ADPR)  14 Brigade Nigerian Army,  Major Oyegoke Gbadamosi, has dismissed the reports and videos as being concocted.
 
Gbadamosi stated: “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 3 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-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.”

“The troops fired warning shots in the air and the hoodlooms 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.”

Gbadamosi also warned thos he described as mischief makers threatening the peace and security of the country through falsehood such as above to desist from doing so.

He also requested the public to go about their lawful business and report any suspicious activity to the nearest police station or security outfit.

The Army also backed up their claims with photographs and a video of their own to counter the statement and video in circulation.

There has been apprgension from the public since the military launched a special operation by the 82 Division Nigerian Army, tagged Python Dance, with many people from the South East zone describing it as occupation and militarization of the region in times of peace.

But also speaking on the issue, the Nigerian Police agreed with its military counterpart that nobody was killed in the skirmishes with unarmed Biafran agitators.

The Public Relations Officer (PRO), Abia State Police Command, DSP Geoffrey Ogbonna, in a statement however, differed in the account of the incidence.
According to Ogbonna, the military were test-driving their newly refurbished Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) within the Afarukwu area of Umuahia before the confrontation with the IPOB memebers.
He said: “Today 10/09/17 at about 1730hrs, there was a clash between the military who claimed they were test driving their repaired APC and members of the IPOB at Afara, the community where the IPOB leader resides.
“During the clash, a Policeman was given machete cut on his head and back, one of the Soldiers on the military APC, attached to FOB Umuahia was injured in his left wrist and one Mrs Grace Nwokeukwu of Umuobasi  lsiama Afara, Umuahia also had a matchet cut on the head.”
He said that all the victims were taken to Police Clinic Umuahia for treatment, while the situation has since been brought under control without any loss of life.


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