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Monday 22 November 2021

Nigerian Army Reportedly Burns Houses, Shops, Vehicles in Imo

Images from the scene. Photo credit: FB

Houses, shops, and vehicles belonging to some members of the separatist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB) in Awonmanma, Oru East Local Government Area of Imo state have been allegedly set ablaze by the military following a clash with the group.

The incident occurred on Monday, 22 November 2021.

According to one of the victims, Mrs Emefo Blessing Nkata, who spoke with our correspondent, the incident was as a result of a protest by the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, a group calling for a separate Biafran state from Nigeria.

Photos from the scene. Credit: Vanguard News

Narrating the incident, Mrs Emefo said, " husband's house and my shop were burnt down by the military. The incident occurred when my husband and other members of IPOB were protesting over the continued detention of their leader Nnamdi Kanu who was unlawfully renditioned from Kenya and illegally detained by the Nigerian government. All of a sudden, some members of the Nigerian Army who were on a routine patrol started dispersing the protesters with tear gas and gunshots. This led to the death of some IPOB members and a soldier. I was still at my shop when I heard that our house has been burnt by the military who identified my husband as the leader of the group.”

File photo

Another victim, Mr John Obieze blamed the soldiers' unprofessional approach towards the protesters as to what escalated the crisis.

He said, “IPOB members were protesting unarmed when the soldiers tried to disperse them. How can you use a live bullet and tear gas on peaceful protesters? I'm not even a member of IPOB but my house was burnt. I don't know what to do now. I'm currently running away with my children with a few of our properties. We don’t want to be killed. We want to be safe. Let us go where nobody will kill us.”

However, at the time of filing this report, it was gathered that the affected persons have been rendered homeless as their personal belongings have all been burnt to ashes. Mostly affected are the businessmen and women that watched helplessly as their wares were destroyed by fire.

Some of the residents of the affected communities were seen fleeing through the bushes to an unknown destination. They were said to be afraid of any form of attack from the soldiers. They were seen carrying their belongings and dragging their children along with them.

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