IPOB sit-at-home: Govs react as two die, businesses grounded

Yesterday, there was tension in Aba, Abia State, following the killing of two soldiers by yet-to-be-identified gunmen at a military checkpoint at the Obikabia Junction in the Obingwa Local Councils of the state.

Though the Indigenous People of Biafra was yet to claim the attack, the development came following the warning to the people of the South-East to stay indoors on May 30, to mark Biafra Day.

Business activities were paralysed across states in the South-East, as the IPOB enforced sit-at-home to mark what it called Biafra Day.

The group, in a statement by its spokesman, Emma Powerful, announced that it would mark the day in honour and memory of those killed in the course of Biafra.

It also warned residents to stay at home and honour the hero and heroines who it said fought for the emancipation of the people of Biafra.

In another statement, it warned the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, to shift its convocation earlier slated for May 30 and the West African Examination Council against fixing the examination on the said date.

The News Agency of Nigeria gathered that the gunmen, after the attack on the soldiers, also burnt down security patrol vehicles and grounded activities in most towns of the South-East states.

A source said, “It appears as if the gunmen had someone monitoring the soldiers and giving information to their colleagues. The soldiers were sitting down at the outpost when the gunmen drove past, slowed down, alighted from the cars and started shooting at them.

“After executing their evil act, they set the outpost and patrol van ablaze and, in the process, a 25-year-old young man was hit by stray bullets and was rushed for medical attention immediately the gunmen left the scene.”

After the incident, police helicopters and military aircraft were sighted hovering around the city centre, while a security agent who spoke on condition of anonymity said the gunmen could not be linked to the IPOB group.

“You can’t rule out IPOB members, but some other groups, armed robbers, kidnapping gangs looking for arms and weapons can take advantage of the sit-at-home to carry out such acts.

“The cars they came with could have been stolen from their owners. It could be that they are cars of kidnapped victims. They chose a spot and launched the attack.

“Obingwa is not known as IPOB members’ enclave. There are crimes associated with Obingwa and that Ogbor Hill area and, like I said, only a well-investigated report can reveal the identity of the attackers,” the military source said.

The South East Governors’ Forum, on Thursday, however, condemned the attack which left two soldiers dead.



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