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Why we had to kill MASSOB/IPOB members –Army

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'Presidency behind bogus IPOB splinter groups'

The Nigerian Army said it had to resort to shooting members of MASSOB and IPOB on Monday in defence of the strategic River Niger Bridge.

It admitted that five members of the protesting Biafra agitators were killed, eight wounded, while nine were arrested.

This was contained in a statement by Deputy Army Public Relations Officer, Colonel H. A. Gambo, in which he accused IPOB and MASSOB members of launching a combined attack on the peace-loving populace as well as security agencies on the fateful day in efforts to mar the first anniversary of the present democratic government.

The statement read:  “The attention of the general public is, hereby, drawn to the unwarranted attack launched by combined members of Movement for Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, and the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, against the peace-loving populace as well as security agencies at about 0415 hours on May 30, 2016.

“This attack was purported to have been orchestrated to mar the first anniversary of the present democratic government as part of the activities earmarked to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Biafra.

“Due to the widespread panic, tension and apprehension that generated from the activities of MASSOB and IPOB members, security agencies which comprised detachments of the Nigerian Navy, Nigeria Police, Department of State Service, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, were compelled to intervene, in consonance with constitutional provisions of aid to civil authority where and when such occasion demands.

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“The over-arching imperative to ensure a reign of peace, security and stability in this circumstance was most starring.

“However, the MASSOB/IPOB members, who had earlier assembled at a school location on Ataa Road, near Saint Edmund’s Catholic Parish, Maryland, Nkpor-Agu in Anambra State resorted to fierce attack against the intervening security agencies that were carrying out their legitimate mandate.

“The nature of this attack involved brazen employment of various types of fire arms and all sorts of crude weapons, volatile cocktail such as acid and dynamites.

“Instructively, troops of 82 Division Nigerian Army, as the lead agency of the security agencies, had to invoke the extant Rules of Engagement (ROE) to resort to self-defence, protection of the strategic Niger Bridge, prevent re-enforcement of the pro-Biafran members apparently surging ahead from the far side of the Niger Bridge at Onitsha.

“All these efforts were in order to de-escalate the palpable tension as well as ward off the apparent threats to lives and property in the general area. In the aftermath of the fire fight that ensued, many of our troops sustained varying degrees of injury.

“These injured troops are currently receiving treatment at own medical centre. Similarly, five members of MASSOB/IPOB were killed, eight wounded, while nine were arrested for due legal actions, the statement read.

 

 

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