No fewer than three persons were feared dead in Onitsha, Anambra State, on Sunday evening when a group, Independent People of Biafra, clashed with security operatives.
It was gathered that 20 persons were injured in the clash.
A member of the group, Chinwendu Ikechukwu, told newsmen that the group had after its meeting held at Nkpor, Idemili-North Local Government Area of the state, decided to go and preach to the people on the need to embrace the struggle for Biafran state when the trouble ensued.
He said, “On reaching Okpoko junction, we were accosted by a detachment of policemen who fired teargas canisters at our members numbering about 5,000.
“They later allowed us to go since we were non-violent but on reaching Uga Junction before the Niger Bridge, the naval men on duty there opened fire on us.
“In our defenceless state, three of our members were shot dead while about twenty others sustained injuries.
“Even the police who initially allowed us to go later joined in shooting our members.”
Ikechukwu said all the injured were initially rushed to Paragon Hospital, Fegge, before some of them were taken to other hospitals.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Anambra State Command, Okechukwu Ali, confirmed the incident but denied the involvement of the police in the incident.
He said the police were on a parade in Onitsha at the time of the incident but never shot members of the group.
The PPRO, however, said that all pro-Biafran groups remained banned according to the country’s constitution.
Efforts to get the reaction of the Commander Naval Outpost, Ogbaru, were not successful as his mobile telephone line remained unreachable.
But a source at the Naval Outpost described the claims of the Biafran activists as false, saying they should be able to produce the corpses of their allegedly slain members.