Friday, 16 April, 2021

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Army mum on alleged Rivers killings


The Army has maintained silence over allegations its operatives were killing innocent residents of Oyibo in its ongoing operation to fish out members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

IPOB members were said to have killed six soldiers and four policemen before taking their guns and burning 50 vehicles and all police stations in Oyibo following the violence that trailed the #EndSARS protests.

Since Governor Nyesom Wike imposed 24-hour curfew, there has been tension in the council following operations of the army to recover their stolen rifles and apprehend hoodlums.

The army has, however, remained mum on the number of casualties caused by its operation despite claims that innocent people had been killed in the council.

A former member of Ebonyi Assembly, Maria Ude Nwachi, on her Facebook page, posted a picture of a young businessman reportedly killed in Oyibo in the ongoing military operation.

She said: “He is from my hometown, he is not a member of IPOB but Army killed him at Obigbo. Don’t rest Abuchi until you take the life of those behind your death and those supporting those behind your death.

“Abuchi scrap off everything that gives their family joy just like they took your parent’s joy”.

A resident from the area said the army burnt a church where IPOB members reportedly used as venue for their meeting and in the process killed one of the pastors, who stood on their way.

The source, who spoke in confidence, however, said the reports of death in Oyibo were being exaggerated, adding the army was gradually applying caution in their operation.

He said: “I live in Oyibo and I have been in my house since the curfew started. When the soldiers first arrived, they were very brutal.

“Those apprehended for violating the curfew were tied and made to roll on the mud. But the number of casualties being reported is highly exaggerated.

“I only know that in the process of burning the church where IPOB members used to gather, a pastor was killed for resistance. But the soldiers are using some information to break into people’s houses. They have arrested some of the hoodlums and recovered stolen items”.

Another source, who spoke in confidence, said a man was brutalised and at the point of being killed on mistaken identity but was later spared by a soldier, who later identified him properly.

It was, however, gathered that tension persisted in Oyibo following occasional gunshots and inability of residents to have access to medi care and food.

Efforts to reach spokesman of the 6 Brigade in Port Harcourt, Maj. Charles Ekeocha, proved abortive.

He didn’t pick calls or respond to a SMS sent to him.

Credit: The Nation

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