• IPOB members attacked our men – Police

• No, police killed peaceful protesters – Eyewitness

From Okey Sampson, Umuahia

There was pandemonium in the commercial city of Aba, Abia State at the weekend as the police clashed with members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). Over four IPOB members were feared killed during the clash.

But the police claimed that the IPOB members attacked their men on confidence building patrol/show of force in the Aba metropolis.

However, an eyewitness account said that the IPOB members were on peaceful protest to press home the release of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu, when they were attacked by the police, and some of the protesters allegedly killed in the process.

The incident forced schools, shops and business owners around Osusu area of Aba to hurriedly shutdown.

A release by the command’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Geoffrey Ogbonna reads: “On 31/03/2023 at about 1145hours, policemen on Confidence building patrol/show of force within Aba metropolis came under attack by proscribed IPOB/ESN members armed with petrol bombs, matchetes, battle axes and other dangerous weapons.

“The attack was repelled by the police operatives with minimal casualties while majority of the hoodlums scampered for safety. However, normalcy has returned in the area.

“The Abia State Police Command, therefore, warns any person or group of persons intending to scuttle the relative peace being enjoyed in the state to have a rethink, as the security operatives in the state will not fold their arms and watch disgruntled elements to mesmerize the state”.

An eyewitness account said that IPOB members who dressed in white apparels and covering their faces with nose mask had engaged in peaceful march through the streets of the Osusu area of the commercial city.

They were said to have chanted series of pro-Biafra and anti-Nigeria songs to further press home their anger over the continued detention of their leader.

The source said that the protest was initially peaceful, but when policemen from the Aba Area Command arrived at the scene, began shooting sporadically and attempted to arrest the protesters, they were said to have resisted, resulting in serious commotion that led to the death of over four of the IPOB members.