Army Denies Killing Biafra Agitators In Port Harcourt
By Andah John with agency report
The Nigerian Army has denied reports that its troops killed 11 members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on 20 January, during a solidarity rally in Port Harcourt.
Spokesman of the Army 6 Division in Port Harcourt, Col. Aminu Iliyasu, said the army adhered strictly to rules of engagement in spite of provocation from some IPOB members.
A large number of youths believed to be IPOB supporters took to the streets on 20 January to commemorate the election of Donald Trump as 45th President of the United States of America.
Iliyasu said that troops from its 29 Battalion were only deployed to assist other security agencies to prevent possible breakdown of law and order during the rally.
“The attention of 6 Division Nigerian Army has been drawn to a baseless and unsubstantiated allegation by one Emma Powerful, who claimed that soldiers killed 11 IPOB members during Jan. 20 rally.
“The allegation is false, malicious and existed in the figment of imagination of Mr Powerful, who claimed to be the Publicity Secretary of IPOB.
“Despite all provocative attempt occasioned by the stoning of security agents and smashing of commuters’ windscreen, troops refused to be cajoled to fire a single shot.
“In spite of the provocation, the violent protest was only subdued with the use of tear gas while arrests were made by a sister security agency with no casualty recorded on either side,” he said.
Iliyasu said pictures and videos put on Social Media were old materials picked from IPOB archives.
He accused IPOB of using the pictures and videos as propaganda to attract public sympathy and raise sentiment in its favour.
The spokesman said the army would no longer tolerate any spurious and unfounded allegations aimed at injuring its image and reputation.
“We wish to inform the public that the allegation is untrue and so, should be dismissed as mere propaganda by the separatist group.