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JUST IN: Gunmen enforcing sit-at-home reportedly kills four soldiers in Aba

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JUST IN: Gunmen enforcing sit-at-home reportedly kills four soldiers in Aba

Gunmen enforcing a sit-at-home order issued by the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), has reportedly killed four soldiers at a military checkpoint in Obikabia Junction, Aba, Abia State.

Details of the incident remain unclear, but videos circulating on social media show the gunmen approach the soldiers while sounds of gunshots rented the air.

A Toyota Hilux van belonging to the military was set on on fire in the ensuing confrontation.

Witnesses said four soldiers died in the process, but this is yet to be officially confirmed.

The IPOB had declared Thursday, May 30, sit-at-home in honour of those who died during the Nigeria/Biafra war.

The separatist group said the day was set aside to honour those who died during the civil war between July 6, 1967 and January 15, 1970, warning that all activities in the South-East are banned on 30th May, while calling on the governors in the region to provide adequate security for lives and property on that day.

Also, the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, insisted that today’s celebration must be held despite threats by Nigerian security agents.

Police arrest man enforcing order in Anambra

In Anambra, the state police command had earlier arrested a man enforcing the sit-at-home order, and recovered arm.

The incident, according to the police, happend along the Oba flyover in Idemili South Local Government Area of the state.

A statement by the state police spokesman, SP Tochukwu Ikenga, on Thursday, indicated that the suspect was among a gang of four armed men regrouping to enforce the sit-at-home declared by the Indigenous People of Biafra on May 30.

Ikenga added that the suspect was arrested, following an Intel that some armed men, operating on motorbikes were regrouping to enforce the sit-at-home, along the area.

He said the police operatives, who arrived in the area, intercepted the gang members and demobilised them while the other three members of the gang escaped with bullet injuries.

He said, “Following the intel gathered, the operatives on 29/5/2024 by 2 pm laid ambush on the miscreants along Oba flyover, Idemili South LGA, intercepted a gang of four armed men operating on motorbikes and demobilised one of the miscreants, while the other three escaped the scene with bullet injuries.

“The operatives recovered a locally made Barreta pistol, four expanded cartridges, two phones, and some signals/initials showing unpatriotism and disloyalty to the Nigerian government.

“Preliminary information showed that the armed men were regrouping to enforce illegal sit-at-home tomorrow May 30, 2024. Meanwhile, the operatives are on the trail of the three armed men who escaped the scene.

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“To this end, the Commissioner of Police in the state, CP Obono Itam, charges the operatives to sustain the tempo of the onslaught against the criminal elements and continue to deny them the space they enjoy to commit havoc in the state.”

Meanwhile, the command has warned anyone to desist from disseminating threatening contents of sit-at-home, saying such is capable of causing a breach of peace.

Through its spokesman, the command said it is fully aware of these secessionist activities and urges law-abiding citizens to disregard such propaganda.

“Rest assured, the Police, along with other security agencies, have mobilised law enforcement resources to ensure the safety and security of every citizen in the state,” the command stated.

The Indigenous People of Biafra had declared a sit-at-home order for today, May 30, in commemoration of Biafra Heroes Day to honour those who died during the Civil War.

Mbah orders workers’ roll call, Police deploy special squad

Meanwhile, the Enugu State Government has clarified that it did not declare today as a public holiday or sit-at-home day, as being speculated in public spaces.

In a circular issued on Wednesday by Enugu State Head of Service, Ken Ugwu, and circulated to heads of state agencies, ministries, parastatals, academic and medical institutions and other sundry arms, the Head of Service said it became expedient to clarify that the state government did not declare today as a public holiday or sit-at-home day, contrary to misconceptions from some quarters.

According to the circular, “May I, therefore, remind our workers that failure to be in their duty posts today will attract summary dismissal from service in line with the enabling provisions of the Public Service Rules.

“It must be noted that such purported public holiday/sit-at-home will have far-reaching consequences on the academic pursuit of our children, who are taking part in the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations held simultaneously across the entire West African sub region including the South Eastern region.

“Enugu State government strongly frowns at any calculated attempt to mortgage the future of our children and has, therefore, put in place necessary security arrangements to guarantee the safety and unrestricted movement of all citizens and residents within the state.

“All Permanent Secretaries, Directors of Administration, Heads of Departments, and agencies of government are directed to take a roll call of all those who came to work and return same to the Office of the Head of Service before 11 am today, May 30, 2024. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.”

It will be recalled that almost one year ago, Governor Peter Mbah engaged the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, in a similar fisticuff which resulted in many casualties, including deaths and paralysis of social-economic activities.

Warns against disruption of WAEC exams

The Enugu State government, in a similar development, warned against disruption of WAEC exams in the state.

The government gave the warning in a statement by the state Commissioner for Information and Communication, Aka Eze Aka, yesterday, in Enugu.

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Aka said there was no room for illegal IPOB activities in the state and urged the residents and pupils to go about their exams and normal activities today, assuring them of adequate security.

He said the state government noted with deep concern, the statement credited to IPOB directing WAEC to postpone the General Mathematics (Theory and Objectives) examinations scheduled for May 30, the day IPOB designated as “Biafra Heroes Day.”

He said: “We note with particular concern IPOB’s statement that the WAEC board should not endanger the lives of students because the day is not safe for any individual in Biafra territory.

“This is unacceptable to us, not only because of the well-known position of the Enugu State government on illegal sit-at-home orders, which have dealt a great blow to the socio-economic life and fortunes of the South-East region but also because of the far-reaching consequences of a whole generation of Enugu children failing to sit for a fundamental subject such as Mathematics in one year.”

The commissioner stressed that Igbo excel on the wings of industry, education, and human capital development, saying that any pronouncement or action that tends to deny the children their rights to education, which is their ticket to the future, was offensive.

He said the Igbo founding fathers and fallen heroes, who must be turning in their graves, would be wondering what could have happened to Igbo as a people.

Police deploy special squad to schools, offices in Anambra


The Anambra police command said it has deployed its operatives of the Schools Protection Squad (SPS) to institutions ahead of today’s sit-at-home ordered by IPOB.

To ensure that the state is properly secured, the Commissioner of Police, Nnaghe Obono Itam on Wednesday complemented the Joint Security Force comprising Army, Navy, Civil Defence, and other sister agencies to address any security concern, especially against those enforcing illegal sit at home in the state.

The CP specifically directed the squad to ensure the safety of students, who are currently sitting for the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) which would start today nationwide.

According to the CP, the special squad was designed to protect the schools, students, and institutional infrastructure.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Tochukwu Ikenga, said in a statement that members of the squad have been equipped with relevant assets and advanced training to effectively respond to security challenges facing educational institutions.

We’ve massively deployed our men— Imo Police

Also, yesterday, the Imo State Police headquarters said the command had massively deployed their men to ensure protection of lives and property ahead of today’s declaration of a sit-at-home order by IPOB.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Henry Okoye, disclosed this to newsmen in Owerri.

The police said the aim was to ensure that residents go about their businesses without fear of intimidation by the IPOB enforcers of sit-at-home.

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According to the Police, “The Commissioner of Police, Imo State Command, Aboki Danjuma, has urged the law-abiding residents of the state to disregard the unlawful and deleterious three days sit-at-home order imposed by the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its armed affiliate Eastern Security Network (ESN) and go about their lawful businesses without any form of fear or intimidation as the command in synergy with other security agencies has emplaced adequate security measures to evade any threat of attack by any insurgent group.

“Security operatives drawn from the Police, Military, Civil Defence, Road Safety, Immigration and Fire Service have been massively deployed to embark on confidence-building patrol and operation show of force across the 27 LGAs of the state to ensure public safety.

“The Command, therefore, is using this medium to warn anybody intending to destabilise the improved peace and security in the state by attempting to enforce the illegal sit-at-home order to have a rethink as anyone caught in the act will be made to face the full wrath of the law.”

“The Commissioner of Police calls on ‘Ndi Imo’ to be security-conscious and swiftly report any suspicious person seen or clandestine activity observed within their vicinity to the nearest Police Station or via the Command’s emergency lines 08034773600 or 08098880197.”

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