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Many feared dead as soldiers & IPOB members clash in Rivers



A Biafra supporter reacts during a rally in support of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader Nnamdi Kanu, who is expected to appear at a magistrate court in Abuja, Nigeria December 1, 2015. Kanu – an activist who divides his time between the UK and Nigeria, spreading his ethos on social media and Radio Biafra – was arrested on charges of criminal conspiracy and belonging to an illegal society.

Following the unrest in Oyigbo and other parts of Rivers State, five soldiers and four members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra have reportedly died.

A total of seven members of the group have now been killed since the #Endsars protest started in the state.

Some IPOB members were reported to have engaged in a shoot-out with a joint security team comprising soldiers and police deployed to quell their activities at some flashpoints in the state.

In a broadcast on Friday, October 23, 2020, the State Governor, Nyesom Wike called out the group and condemned their activities in the state.

He said, “We were all witnesses to yet another orgy of violence and destruction inflicted by IPOB at Oyigbo Local Government Area and some parts of Port Harcourt City Local Government Area on Tuesday, October 20, 2020.

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“This evil, wicked and audacious action resulted in the unnecessary loss of lives, including soldiers and police officers, and the destruction of both public and private properties, police stations, court buildings and business premises.”

Following the broadcast, IPOB members and soldiers still clashed on Friday evening.

According to the state’s police command, suspected IPOB members who attacked the Oyigbo community and other areas in the state killed two police officers, burnt four police stations and over 50 vehicles.

A statement by the spokesman for the state police command, Nnamdi Omoni, stated that the state Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan, has had ordered a full scale investigation into the incident with a view to arresting and prosecuting the culprits.

The statement reads in part, “The Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan today (Saturday) led commanders of the sister security agencies in the state to Oyigbo council area where hoodlums suspected to be members of the proscribed IPOB under the guise of #EndSARS protests invaded Oyigbo Area Command, Oyigbo, Afam and Umuebulu Police stations where they attacked the policemen on duty and burnt down the four police formations.

“In the course of the attacks, over 50 vehicles were burnt, including one Armoured Personnel Carrier, killing two policemen who were hacked to death and set ablaze.”

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Mukan also condemned the attack on public and private properties in the state saying it is ill-conceived and most unfortunate.

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