We lost two officers – DSS
SWITZERLAND, AUGUST 24 – There was mayhem in Enugu on Sunday as members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) clashed with security forces, leading to loss of lives.
Today’s Echo gathers from eyewitnesses and media sources, the dead include members of the security forces, including the Police and the Department of State Services (DSS), as well as protesters seeking for an independent Biafra Republic in South-East Nigeria.
Policemen were said to have invaded a building when IPOB members were holding a meeting at Emene in Enugu.
They reportedly resisted the attempt to disperse them, prompting the police to apply force.
This resulted in a violent clash between the IPOB members and the police officers who started firing gunshots.
A team of security operatives was said to have been immediately deployed to the scene after which they were able to arrest many of the IPOB members.
Sunday’s violence is the latest of frequent clashes between the police and IPOB members since the group was declared a terrorist organisation by the federal government in 2018.
In a statement by its spokesperson, Emma Powerful, IPOB said 21 of its members were killed in the clash.
Mr Powerful said 47 IPOB members were also arrested.
“The Nigerian government and her security agencies have once again exhibited another crude round of killing and massacre against the peaceful and unarmed IPOB family members in Enugu State today 23rd of August, 2020″
“We are surprised how Nigerian security agencies in their respective formations like army, police and DSS will be slaughtering our people without any provocation.
“This rampant killing of innocent members of IPOB will be reciprocated in due cause. IPOB members have been slaughtered and arrested in their numbers across different locations in Enugu State today Sunday 23rd August 2020.
“We MUST warn and put the whole world on notice that Nigerian Government and her security operatives should stop killing our people because we are peaceful organisation with the mandate of restoring Biafra sovereignty within shortest period,” Emma Powerful said in the statement.
Meanwhile, the DSS has released a statement claiming two of its operatives had died after IPOB members reportedly attacked one of its patrol teams on Sunday in Emene, Enugu state.
In a statement signed by its Public Relations Officer, Peter Ifunaya, the DSS wrote:
“The DSS wishes to inform the public that its patrol team was, today, 23rd August 2020, attacked in Emene, Enugu State by members of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).”
“The Service lost two personnel in what was clearly an unprovoked violent attack launched by IPOB on the team. The Service hereby condoles with families of the departed officers and also prays for the repose of their souls.”
“However, all measures have been put in place to ensure that their killers and everyone involved in this dastardly act are promptly apprehended and brought to justice. Consequently, a full-scale investigation will be carried out with regard to the incident.”
“Once again, the Service reaffirms its commitment to assiduously work with other security agencies to maintain public safety and order. It, therefore, urges law-abiding citizens and residents to go about their normal businesses without fear.”
Hundreds of the Biafran agitators who were arrested during their rallies and similar meetings in various parts of the south-east are currently facing prosecution.