Four years after the invasion of the Nigerian military to the south east to quell what it termed ‘violent separatist agitators,’ the echoe of that action is yet to die down.
Some members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) who were at the receiving end have not yet recovered from the brutality meted to them because of their agitation for the restoration of the sovereignty of the Republic of Biafra.
For the period the clash lasted, it was tears, sorrow and blood in many parts of the south east with Aba, Abia State being the worst hit as the leader of the group, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu hails from there. His village Afaraukwu never knew peace as his father’s palace was surrounded by armed soldiers with armored tankers as they engaged members of IPOB who defended themselves with bottles, clubs, sticks and what you. But as expected they were overpowered and most of them paid the supreme price.
Some lucky members of IPOB ran out of town, some out of the country as they have lost their homes and businesses. Some not so lucky ones were caught beaten, tortured and killed.
Some identifiable lucky ones like Uzoma Kalu, Agu Cornelius Ikechukwu, Orjinta Japhet braved all odds and disappeared. Just as the whereabouts of some of them are unknown, that of Ikechukwu is still unknown as it is claimed in some quarters that they are still on the watch list of the military to be dealt with wherever they are seen or sighted.
As for Kanu the leader, he somehow managed to escape with his parents back to his base in Britain as a British citizen. He has dual citizenship.
Recall that President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in September 2017 returned from his medical trip abroad and ordered the military to crush the separatist group which comprises of artisans, businessmen, market women.
The Nigerian army code – named Python Dance 2 moved into action and stormed the east and the clash began.
It is instructive to note that the Amnesty International verified video recordings of the shooting of February 9 2016 at Aba National High School where soldiers ran into the field and surrounded the pro-Biafra activists who were unarmed and not violent -just singing and dancing. The military acted as they were in combat and took up a couched aiming position and fired live ammunition when the police withdrew.
On February 13, 2016 corpses were discovered in a pit along the Aba – Port Harcourt expressway. And according to local human rights defenders, these were men who were taken away by the military on February 9. Two weeks later their bodies were burned.
The internet was awash with video clips of many of the IPOB members at the receiving end of the brutality of the military.
Umuahia the state capital became a battle ground the governor had to impose a curfew that lasted for days.