* Confirms three IPOB agitators killed, army commander wounded
The Nigerian military has explained how some jubiliating members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Onitsha, Anambra State, were killed, saying they acted in self-defence.
Reports had it that soldiers attached to the 302 Artillery Regiment in the commercial town allegedly shot at the IPOB members celebrating the decision of a Federal High Court (FHC) in Abuja to unconditionally release the Director of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu on Friday, December 18, killing five instantly and injuring 25 others.
However, the military, in a statement signed on Sunday by the Deputy Director Army Public Relations, 82 Division, Nigeian Army, Enugu, Col. Hamza Gambo, has denied the trend of events as reported, saying the troops were attacked first by those he described as “mobs/irate youths”.
Gambo who gave military version of what transpired in response to THISDAY enquiries, said that “at about 1335 Hrs on 17 December 2015, an unknown group of a rowdy mob numbering about 200 whose identity yet to be ascertained attacked troops of 302 Artillery Regiment deployed at River Niger bridge in Onitsha. The Niger bridge is the major link connecting the Western Region and the entire South East as well as the South South regions. It is of great strategic significance to the entire nation”.
Indeed, he said, the importance of the bridge to the socio-economic survival/well being of the peoples of these regions and beyond cannot be over-emphasized.