How Biafra separatists fought DSS personnel in Enugu
Casualties have been claimed by both sides of the divide.
In a corner of the school, members of the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) sat pretty, neck deep in discussions.
The detectives considered the assemblage an illegal meeting, seeing as IPOB has been outlawed since 2017.
IPOB seeks a breakaway nation from Nigeria’s southeastern and bordering south-south states.
A scuffle ensued as security operatives made to arrest some of the separatists and disperse the meeting.
The separatists resisted arrest and reportedly overpowered the security operatives. The scuffle would soon turn bloody.
Eyewitnesses tell Pulse that overpowered security agents on the scene soon received reinforcements, with a detachment of armed police officers, soldiers and DSS (Department of State Services) personnel arriving at the scene with guns blazing.
DSS said two of its personnel were killed by the separatists in the wake of what they called an unprovoked attack.
“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.
“Consequently, a full-scale investigation will be carried out with regard to the incident,” said DSS spokesperson, Peter Afunanya.
In a statement, IPOB said 21 of its members were killed by security personnel and more than 40 others were arrested after the meeting was interrupted.
A republic that never was
Tensions have simmered in Nigeria’s southeast region since the Col Odumegwu Ojukwu-led Biafra protagonists demanding secession, sparked a civil war in 1967-70 that killed an estimated one million people.
In 2017, Nigeria’s armed forces designated IPOB as a “terrorist organisation.”
In 2016, Amnesty International accused Nigeria’s security forces of killing at least 150 Biafran separatists at peaceful rallies. The military and police denied the allegations.
In recent times, IPOB has been led by the eccentric Nnamdi Kanu, who fled Nigeria after security forces raided and tore down his dad's compound in Afaraukwu, Abia State in 2017.
Kanu has been charged with treason by the Nigerian state.
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