Five Soldiers, Four Others Die In IPOB, Security Operatives Clash In Nigeria’s Rivers

A member of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) party talks with people about why not to vote in the upcoming general elections in Aba, close to the Ariaria International Market, on February 14, 2019. – This area is a IPOB political strong area in Aba, a city in one of the pro-Biafran separatist regions. IPOB called to boycott the upcoming Nigerian elections asking to the people to not go to vote next Saturday on February 16 and to stay at home instead. (Photo by CRISTINA ALDEHUELA / AFP)

No fewer than nine people have died in Nigeria’s Rivers State during a clash between security operatives and the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

The clash, which occurred at Oyigbo and other parts of the state, was said to have claimed the lives of five soldiers and four IPOB members.

The soldiers were part of a joint security team – which included some policemen – deployed to quell IPOB activities in Oyigbo, Rumuokwurusi and other flashpoints areas.

The IPOB members were said to have engaged the security team in a shoot-out from Thursday night till Friday morning.

Rivers State Governor, Mr Nyesom Wike, had on Friday condemned IPOB activities despite the 24-hour curfew imposed on the Oyigbo council area.

“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,” the governor said, adding: “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.”

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Meanwhile, the state police command said two cops were killed, four police stations burnt and over 50 vehicles set ablaze by suspected IPOB members who attacked the Oyigbo community and other areas in the state.

The state Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan, stated this when he led commanders of other security agencies in the state to the Oyigbo council area on Saturday.

In a statement by the spokesman for the state police command, Nnamdi Omoni, the CP had ordered a full scale investigation into the incident with a view to appending and prosecuting the culprits.

The statement stated, “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.

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“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.”

Mukan condemned the attack on public and private property, describing it as ‘ill-conceived, most unfortunate and an ill wind that would blow no one any good,’ while condoling with the families of the slain operatives.


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