Following the release of IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, jubilation ensued in Onitsha and an attempt to stop the Pro-Biafrans turned bloody as sporadic gunshots to ward off the protesters resulted in lost lives.
According to the source,
Five members of the IPOB movement were reportedly killed on Thursday by soldiers in Onitsha during the celebration of the Federal High Court order granting Nnamdi Kanu release from the detention of the Department of State Services.
Festus Uyanna, an eyewitness related to journalists what transpired between the soldiers and the jubilant protesters.
The pro-Biafra agitators had gathered in celebration and marched towards the Bridge Head before they were accosted by the military joint task force stationed in the area who asked them to stop the procession.
The IPOB members were in no mood to heed to the task force‘s warning and insisted on gathering at the Dim Chukwuemeka Ojukwu gate-way, the soldiers thereupon open fire sporadically in a bid to overpower them.
“Trouble started when the IPOB members were asked to stop their march toward the Bridge Head, but the group bluntly refused,” Festus said.
“It was at this juncture that the soldiers started shooting sporadically to scare the crowd.”
The police, through an assistant commissioner of police in the state police command, Philip Ezekiel, confirmed that members of the group were actually shot to death in the incident but was not aware of the actual number.
He blamed the IPOB members for trying to over-power the task force and forcefully get on the bridge.
Their insistence led to the use of lethal force by the soldiers in a bid to subdue them.
“Yes, Onitsha was in crisis in the early part of today, IPOB members attacked the solders at the Bridge Head but they were over-powered,” he said.
“There were deaths but I cannot confirm that now because they are not under me but everything is normal now.”
Telling a different tale from that of the police, Uzor Uzor, the coordinator of Campaign for Democracy in the south-east, revealed that he even had to rush some of the injured members to the hospital.
“I have been here since I heard of the shooting. They were unarmed and wanted to converge at the Dim Chukwuemeka Ojukwu Gate-way when they were asked to turn back but they refused.
“As I am talking to you, five of them are lying dead in various hospitals and we have been following up about 15 others in critical conditions” he stated.