No fewer than six people, including two policemen died on Friday during a protest by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Nnewi, Anambra State.
However, the Anambra State Police Command said only one policeman died, while a Divisional Police Officer in the area was hospitalised after sustaining injuries in the clash that started when security agencies stormed the venue of the said protest.
Four people, believed to be IPOB members were killed.
Anambra State Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations, Mike Okoli told the press that his command lost a policeman, an inspector in the clash, adding that DPO who went with him to that operation is hospitalised after sustaining injuries.
Flag-waving pro-Biafran agitators had reportedly marched in Nnewi and environs on Friday, telling the people about the need for a referendum before their could be any election in “Biafraland”.
The protesters, numbering over 2000, were said to have stormed the Nnewi market, shouting “No referendum, no 2019 election.”
But it is understood that the attempt by the the police, who arrived at the scene in three Toyota Hilux pick-up vans, to stop the protest led to the deadly clash.
IPOB members reportedly attaked the policemen and destroyed their vans, leaving two people dead.
However, IPOB’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, said in a statement made available tojournalists in Awka, that members of the group went on a peaceful demonstration to express their joy over the “second coming and appearance” of the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, in Israel.
The statement partly read, “Our leader’s reappearance in Israel after the Nigerian government and her security forces, including the Nigerian Army, Air force and Naval forces invaded his compound at Afaraukwu Ibeku in Umuahia, Abia State, last year September is clearly an indication to all and sundry that God Almighty is behind the struggle for Biafra liberation.
“Biafrans are equally today showcasing to the world that we are ready to boycott every Nigerian elections come 2019 especially the presidential election next year.
“Our march today on the roads and streets across Biafraland must send signals to politicians and saboteurs among us that Biafrans are determined to leave the prison called Nigeria where British government experimented to lead black Africans and other black nations across the globe but failed to live up to the expectations for over 100 years because of the Hausa-Fulani caliphate dominations.
“IPOB rally and march today (Friday) being November 23, 2018 is ongoing in all the states across Biafraland like Rivers, Enugu, Abia, Anambra, Delta, Imo, Ebonyi, Cross Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa states and other Biafra clans and tribes fraudulently carved into Kogi, Benue and Edo States.
“IPOB is divinely ordained to retrieve Biafra sovereignty from this enclave called Nigeria. We are coming to show Nigerians and its handlers including their security apparatus what is called civil disobedience because IPOB is more of intellectuals.”