In response to the press release of the Nigerian Army’s Deputy Director on Public Relations, Colonel Hamza Gambo, denying the report of Amnesty International on pro-Biafra killings on the 30th May of Biafra Heroes’ Remembrance Day which indicted the Nigerian security agencies for committing heinous crimes against innocent unarmed Biafrans who had gathered to commemorate the 49th Anniversary since after the Biafran genocidal war of 1967-1970 against Biafrans.
It is pertinent to note that the pro-Biafra groups; IPOB and MASSOB had maintained their peaceful disposition in their quest for self-determination for the Biafran people despite the continued brutality, killings and inhumane treatments meted out on them by the combined team of Nigeria’s security agencies.
There is no point gainsaying the fact that the report of the human rights organization is authentic and verifiable from all angles.
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The Nigerian Army have on several occasions, opened gunfire on peaceful Biafran protesters on streets across the states of the regions known and identified as Biafraland; from Enugu, Onitsha, Aba, Port Harcourt, Bayelsa, Awka, Asaba and most recently, Nkpor in Anambra state. Starting from 30th August, 2015 when Biafrans were massacred at Onitsha Head bridge, to 17th of November that same year.
The most brutal of them last year in Onitsha was on the 2nd of December at the early hours of 12:00am, when the Nigerian Army and Navy opened fire on defenseless and peaceful Biafra agitators who were picketing at the Ojukwu gateway in Onitsha.
Again, on 9th February, 2016 at Aba, was a tragic and horrific day as the murderous Nigerian Army and Police went on rampage, killing scores of Biafrans who had converged at the National High School, Aba, to pray for the release of Nnamdi Kanu from detention. The remains of some innocent Biafrans the Nigerian army brutally murdered were later discovered in a shallow grave/pit where they were buried.
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The continued deliberate killing of Biafrans have grown to an extent that it has become a trend for the Nigerian military and security forces because the President Buhari has sworn with his life to crush Biafra and its supporters with any possible state apparatus in his disposal. This singular statement from the president has further prompted and boldened the security agencies to aggressively clamp down on unarmed Biafrans whenever they gather.
May 30th of every year is held as a remarkable day for the Biafran people in every resident country they find themselves to honour and remember those who lost their lives during the pogrom. This year’s anniversary was hosted in Nkpor, Anambra state, and as usual, the combined team of Nigeria security agencies whom acting on the wild order given to them by the president, attended the peaceful gathering with the aim of slaughtering Biafrans.
As against the false claims peddled by Colonel Gambo that IPOB was armed, destroying people’s lives and properties, and breaching the peace and security of the state was just a cover-up statement against the heinous atrocities committed by them on that fateful day. For the avoidance of doubt, many eye witnesses whom survived the attack in their respective reports never mentioned that IPOB was armed or that they violently confronted any police or army.
It then stands to reason why any person who is not wielding arms would want to physically confront well-armed security personnel.
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It should be noted that the criminal activities of the Nigeria security agents started at the eve of the anniversary when they ambushed Biafrans who camped at St. Edmund Catholic Church in Nkpor; close to the venue of the event. The Church premises was invaded by agents of the Nigerian army who started shooting sporadically at Biafrans who had taken shelter inside the Church resulting to many deaths and 6 others sustaining various bullet injuries.
"Is Colonel Gambo then saying that those people they killed as of that time was armed and constituting enormous danger and security threat to the state?
Even as the day brightened, the raid continued as security operatives were seen patrolling the venue of the event and its environs shooting and arresting unarmed Biafrans within their reach. Many onlookers and passersby were also shot and their bodies taken away to unknown destination. The celebration turned bloody as the spilling of innocent Biafran blood rages on.
Not more than 200 people were killed including those whom are still missing up till now. About 70 casualties sustained life-threatening injuries from live bullets fired on their neck, head, back, chest and other strategic places of the body. The Army spokesperson claiming that his men were attacked by Biafrans was a sheer ineptitude, and a leeway to justify the atrocious acts that happened that day.
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Visit to various hospitals where those who sustained lethal gunshot wounds were taken to confirmed the acts. Most of them were shot at their back, legs, chests, arms which further confirmed that they were defenceless and fleeing from the rampaging security operatives before they were hit by lethal bullets.
The manner of which the Nigerian army denied these gruesome acts is just a mere concoction of lies which they are known for. In all they have said, it is certain they have no shred of evidence to back it.
The Nigeria army are of the habit of violating and abusing human rights with impunity and the evidence are there for the whole world to see. They kill innocent civilians and immediately deny it even when the evidence of their atrocities is glaring for those who cares to see. Nigeria security forces are guilty of committing another genocide and I urge human rights organizations to do their job and carryout genuine investigations without compromising because human lives are involved in this case.
It is important to note that the 30th May Heroes’ Day celebration was observed all over the countries of the world with no record of violence except in Nigeria where these crimes were committed.
Many Biafrans have lost their lives in the hands of Nigerian military forces and there is urgent call for justice to prevail to assuage the sensibilities of savage minds.
Written By Anyikwa Kelechi Cynthia.
Edited By Chukwuemeka Chimerue.
Published By Nwosu C.S
For Biafra Writers.