· Catholic Priest, sales rep, others injured
By Nwanosike Onu, Awka, Emma Elekwa, Onitsha
— May 30, 2019
· IPOB members wound NDLEA operatives
Some members of Catholic Church including a Priest in Nnewi, Anambra State were on Thursday attacked by some people suspected to be members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Those involved in the alleged attack by pro Biafran group were Rev Fr Festus Eziamaka of St Judes parish in Nnewi and a Sales’ executive with the SUN newspapers in the Commercial city.
Also, other victims were passengers of a commercial bus said to have been attacked by the agitators.
The parishioners were said to be going for early mass while others were said to be returning from prayer vigil when they were attacked and wounded at different points by the groups.
It was further gathered the pro-Biafra groups, numbering over 2,000 had stormed the industrial city as early as 4:30am to ensure total compliance to the sit-at-home order.
When contacted on the mayhem unleashed by IPOB on defenceless individuals, the state police public relations officer, PPRO, Mr Mohammed Haruna, said he was not aware of any casualties.
Rather, he tagged the IPOB directive as a total failure in Anambra state, declaring security agencies were at their best.
But, Rev Celestine Okonkwo, Secretary to the Bishop, confirmed to reporters his colleague, who is in charge of St Judes Parish, was attacked and wounded by the miscreants.
He said he was attacked by the Pro Biafra agitators on his way to the first Mass of Ascension for his parish
However, he said the priest was rushed to the hospital and was responding to treatment.
The pro-Biafran group had declared May 30 sit-at-home in honour of Biafra heroes and heroines, who died in the civil war and others that died in the course of Biafra agitation.
The agitators comprising of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and others armed with machetes, sticks and other dangerous weapons were reportedly sighted at Ibeto junction around 5am.
Our reporters further learnt the Sun’s Sales Executive at Nnewi Out-station, Mr. Eze Chukwu, escaped from the agitators by whiskers in the morning.
However, the Catholic priest was not lucky as they swooped on him and unleashed mayhem, destroying his vehicle and injuring him.
According to the sales rep: “I told them I work with The Sun Newspaper but they didn’t believe me and some of them raised their clubs to hit me.
“I begged them to follow me to where parcels of our newspapers were packed for them to be convinced that I work with The Sun and they followed me and saw the parcel before they now asked me to run away.”
The rampaging pro-Biafra groups also attacked a vehicle with registration number: CL 163 BEN, Toyota saloon car at Nnewi roundabout.
They smashed the front and rear windscreens of the vehicle, while the occupants whose travelling bags were abandoned inside the car were said to have been seriously wounded.
At NITEL junction, a patrol van belonging to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) operatives with registration number: AWK 750 BF was grounded.
Four of the occupants were attacked and said said to have been seriously wounded and hospitalised.
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The clash was said to be between officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and youths suspected to be drug peddlers.
Two officials of the NDLEA and three of the youths reportedly sustained serious injuries while the NDLEA vehicle was said to have been smashed by the youths.
The cause of the clash was still unknown as at press time as efforts to get reactions from the Area Command and Divisional Police Station in Nnewi were unsuccessful.
There was however total compliance, as all markets, banks, schools and every office in Nnewi remained closed.
Also at the same junction, a commercial bus and the occupants were attacked that early hour of the day by the same rampaging pro-Biafrans.
Narrating his ordeal, driver of the bus, Jude Malike said they were attacked when he was returning with his passengers around 6:00am from Ekwulobia after a vigil.
He said they used their cutlass to slap him and attacked his passengers who jumped down from the bus and scampered for safety.
He said: ” My four tyres were punctured by the agitators. They were very fast in executing their mission.
“Luckily, they succeeded in escaping from the scene before the arrival of combined team of the police, civil defence and army who took over the entire industrial community,” he said
The sit-at-home directive by the IPOB, witnessed total compliance in Onitsha and Nnewi, Anambra State.
All the markets, financial institutions, transport companies, schools and government institutions from Onitsha to Oba, Nnewi, Obosi, Nkpor ,Ogidi, Ihiala and other surrounding towns and villages were shutdown
The situation was calm in the capital city of Awka, security agencies including the Army, Navy, Police and other para Military outfits mounted security checks at different junctions to ensure adequate security in the area.
In Onitsha, markets, banks and schools were shut down while major roads which usually experience heavy traffic congestion were all deserted with youths turning them into football playing fields.
The popular Onitsha Main Market, Marine market, Ose Okwodu market and and shops including the popular Sir Emeka Offor and other plazas known for selling and repairing telephones and its accessories were all closed for business.
Other roads were completely free of traffic included Awka, Atani, Obodoukwu, Oguta, New Market, Old Market roads and other adjoining roads and streets.
The popular Bridgehead Head Market that had over 25 markets under it, including the Onitsha Patent Medicine market were all closed.
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