Soldiers attached to Goodluck Jonathan Army Barracks, 14Brigade Ohafia, Abia State, have reportedly arrested five members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Aba, the commercial nerve of the state.
Information gathered by our reporter has it that the IPOB members were said to be part of the pro-Biafra group that disrupted church service at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Abayi, Ariaria in Osisioma Local Government Area on Sunday, January 27.
Similarly, personnel of Sector 2, Sub sector Charlie also rescued two lawyers; Barrister Loveth Nonye Ofoegbu and Barrister Kaodi Onuoha who were reportedly kidnapped along Owerrinta in Isiala Ngwa South Local Government of the state. The soldiers were said to have started stop and search operation in the area when they got information of the kidnap and on sensing danger, abandoned their victims and made away to a nearby bush.
Reports say the atmosphere in the church got charged when some of the IPOB members who were also at the church, prevented a politician from the ruling PDP in the state from addressing the church. Sources at the venue stated that attempts by the presiding priest, Reverend Father Nathaniel Oyedike, to restore peace failed as members of the group and some parishioners joined in signing and chanting pro-IPOB songs which brought the service to a close abruptly.
It was gathered that the parishioners and IPOB members who insisted that they would rather have a referendum than being part of the 2019 election in the state and other southeast states stormed outside the church and in the process, damaging all the glasses of a PDP branded Sienna bearing the picture of the incumbent Senator representing Abia Central and former Governor of the State, Theodore Ahamefule Orji.
Confirming the arrest of the IPOB members, a source from 14Brigade disclosed that the pro-Biafra members were arrested by troops of Sub sector Bravo in conjunction with the personnel of Nigerian police, Abia State Command that moved to the area and effectively salvaged the situation. “At the scene, it was reported that IPOB members were shouting no elections in Biafra land and also attempted to beat the pastor; Reverend Father Nathaniel Oyedike. A vehicle and some chairs were reportedly damaged in/within the church premises.”