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 Fr 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.
Source – The Nation Newspaper