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Kanu backs out of talks with S’East govs, policeman killed

Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, on Wednesday, backed out of the planned talks between the secessionist group and the South -East Governors Forum .

The IPOB leader had met with the governors at the Enugu State Government House on August 30 , and both parties agreed to hold further talks to seek an amicable resolution to the issues raised by the pro -Biafran group .

Another meeting was scheduled to hold between Kanu and the governors on Friday , September 15 , but, in a statement he personally signed, which was made available to journalists, the IPOB leader said he would no longer continue with the talks .

He blamed the development on an alleged plot by soldiers to assassinate him while on his way to the meeting with the governors.

He also alleged that he was currently attending to his injured and bereaved followers , who had allegedly fallen victim to attacks by the military in the course of the ongoing Operation Python Dance 2, started by the Nigerian Army in the South -East .

Kanu , in the statement, hinted that the leaders of the IPOB intended to meet to vote on whether to drop their non -violent approach, and instead, use force to confront the Nigerian Army .

Parts of the statement read , “ In view of the concerted effort by the oppressive Nigerian state to shatter the peace and tranquillity of the South -East and the rest of Biafraland through military intimidation, it has become necessary for me to clarify why, regrettably , I may not be able to attend Friday ’ s meeting with the South -East governors as earlier agreed, for three main reasons .

“ We are currently busy attending to our dead and injured from this latest round of unprovoked military onslaught against innocent civilians in our own land . All the casualties so far were shot by men of the Nigerian Army deployed in my house and those stationed along motorways leading into Umuahia , my hometown .

“ I have been reliably informed also that a detachment of this same soldiers , responsible for the murder of innocent unarmed IPOB family members, have now been stationed near Enugu to ambush and assassinate me on my way to the meeting with the governors on Friday .

“ On that same Friday , the 15 th of September , 2017, the leadership of IPOB, through the instrumentality of the Directorate of State , headquartered in Germany , will be meeting to vote on the viability or otherwise of continuing our struggle in this non -violent manner .
“ There is urgent need to begin the process of defending ourselves in the face of relentless murderous attacks from the Nigerian state . ”

Kanu explained that the prevailing situation in the South -East was not conducive to meaningful discussions with the governors.
“ Accordingly, we will not engage in any meeting with anybody until the atmosphere is conducive and peaceful enough to allow for such , ” he said .

In the same vein, he warned anti -Biafra Igbo , whom he described as “ collaborators and agents of the oppressor ”, to immediately go into self-imposed exile .

IPoB kills policeman in Rivers
A few hours before Kanu ’ s statement, however , the Rivers State Police Command alleged that one Sergeant Steven Daniel was killed by IPoB members.

The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ahmed Zaki , told newsmen in Port Harcourt that Daniel was shot dead by IPoB members during the crisis in the Oyigbo Local Government Area.
IPOB members and security operatives clashed in the area on Tuesday with the report that one person was killed .

Zaki pointed out that three arms and 68 rounds of live ammunition were taken away by the sergeant’ s assailants , adding that 32 persons had been arrested by the police in connection with the clash in Oyigbo .

He stated, “ The same group , who have no justification for their action, also attacked a police van from Nonwa Police Training School en route from Port Harcourt International Airport, and burnt the van to ashes .

“ The driver of the van, Inspector Emaikwu Ochochi, was badly injured and is currently on admission in a hospital. The attackers also carted away one AK47 riffle with 60 rounds of live ammunition and one Barretta pistol with eight rounds of live ammunition .

“ At the end of their rampage , many vehicles were damaged and scores burnt .

“ However , the command was awaken with yet another attack today ( Wednesday) , at about 12 . 10 am , where some members of IPOB regrouped and launched a surprise attack on mobile policemen stationed at Oyigbo junction, killing a police sergeant identified as Steven Daniel , attached to Mopol 19 , injuring two others and burning down their patrol vehicle . ”

The state CP further alleged that one sterling SMG riffle, belonging to the deceased officer , was taken away by the attackers , adding that they ( attackers ) were repelled by the police with nine of them arrested.

He stated that the nine arrested members brought the number of suspects to 32 .
Meanwhile , some security operatives took over the expressway in the Oyigbo area of the state on Wednesday.

It was gathered that social and economic activities had begun in the area barely 24 hours after the clash between the security agents and IPOB members..

There was heavy security presence in places close to the expressway, while policemen embarked on a stop -and -search .

People passing through a point before the Oyigbo Junction were asked to raise their hands while some , who were suspected to be part of Tuesday’ s crisis, were arrested .

A resident of the area , who identified himself as Okenyi Johnson , said policemen were everywhere as early as 5 am , adding that he could not get any commercial vehicle to his place of work because no vehicle was allowed to pick passengers .

“ I had to trek to a distance before I could find a bus that conveyed me to Eleme and from Eleme to Etche . I am still in Etche as I speak because I am not sure I will get a vehicle that will take me to my house , ” Johnson said .

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