At least 21 members of the Indigenous People of Biafra were killed during a violent clash with DSS operatives in Enugu.
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has accused the State Security Service (SSS) of attacking and killing its members on Sunday.
The group said the attack left 21 of its members dead with at least 47 others arrested. However, the DSS claimed it lost two officers in the violent clash.
In a statement by its spokesperson, Peter Afunanya, the SSS said its patrol team was “attacked in Emene, Enugu State by members of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).”
“The Service lost two personnel in what was clearly an unprovoked violent attack launched by IPOB on the team,” Mr Afunanya said.
The agency condoled with families of the departed officers and also prayed for the repose of their souls.
“However, all measures have been put in place to ensure that their killers and everyone involved in this dastardly act are promptly apprehended and brought to justice. Consequently, a full-scale investigation will be carried out with regard to the incident.
“Once again, the Service reaffirms its commitment to assiduously work with other security agencies to maintain public safety and order. It, therefore, urges law abiding citizens and residents to go about their normal businesses without fear,” the spokesperson said.
In a statement by its spokesperson, Emma Powerful, IPOB said 21 of its members were killed in the clash.
Mr Powerful said 47 IPOB members were also arrested.
“The Nigerian government and her security agencies have once again exhibited another crude round of killing and massacre against the peaceful and unarmed IPOB family members in Enugu State today 23rd of August, 2020″
“We are surprised how Nigerian security agencies in their respective formations like army, police and DSS will be slaughtering our people without any provocation.
“This rampant killing of innocent members of IPOB will be reciprocated in due cause. IPOB members have been slaughtered and arrested in their numbers across different locations in Enugu State today Sunday 23rd August 2020”
“We MUST warn and put the whole world on notice that Nigerian Government and her security operatives should stop killing our people because we are peaceful organisation with the mandate of restoring Biafra sovereignty within shortest period,”
Mr Powerful narrated his group’s version of how the violence started.
He said the IPOB members were holding a peaceful meeting when armed SSS operatives stormed the area shooting sporadically.
“Today, the Nigerian security personnel stormed IPOB meeting ground in Enugu and started shooting sporadically which consumed lives of 21 members and 47 arrested for just no cause or provocation,” Mr Powerful said.
He alleged that the security operatives took the bodies of the slain IPOB members away.
“The security in the whole world must understand that keeping quiet and following the rule of law should not be construed as weakness on the part of IPOB.”
He said the group is a peaceful organisation and will remain peaceful despite the provocations.
“IPOB is a well rooted movement committed fully on the pursuit for Biafra freedom and independence from Nigeria. We are not a violent group and there is nothing they can do to change our resolve to maintain peace and order in our land.”