The Nigerian Army on Sunday reacted to allegations that its officers shot members of the Indigenous People of Biafra to death during January 20 solidarity rally in Port Harcourt.
The Army’s spokesman, 6 Division in Port Harcourt, Col. Aminu Iliyasu, said despite the provocation from some IPOB members, the Army exhibited professionalism in handling the matter.
Thousands of youths believed to be IPOB supporters on January 20, took to the street commemorate the inauguration of Donald Trump as 45th President of the United States of America.
The statement by Iliyasu read, “The attention of 6 Division Nigerian Army has been drawn to a baseless and unsubstantiated allegation by one Emma Powerful, who claimed that soldiers killed 11 IPOB members during January 20 rally. “The allegation is false, malicious and existed in the figment of imagination of Mr. Powerful, who claimed to be the Publicity Secretary of IPOB. “Despite all provocative attempt occasioned by the stoning of security agents and smashing of commuters’ windscreen, troops refused to be cajoled to fire a single shot. “In spite of the provocation, the violent protest was only subdued with the use of tear gas while arrests were made by a sister security agency with no casualty recorded on either side,” he said.
Iliyasu described that pictures and videos uploaded on Social Media were old materials picked from IPOB archives, to create propaganda to attract public sympathy and raise sentiment among citizens in its favour.
According to Iliyasu, the army would no longer tolerate any spurious and unfounded allegations aimed at injuring its image and reputation.
“To this end, Mr . Powerful and other like – minded mischief makers are hereby warned that the Nigerian Army will no longer tolerate such allegations,” the division spokesperson said.