Owerri, the Imo State capital, was on Monday thrown into tension as the men of the state police command shot and dispersed pro-Biafran protesters in the city.
The protesters stormed the Eastern Heartland city to renew their protest against the continued detention of the director of Radio Biafra and leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOD), Nnamdi Kanu, by the Department of Security Services, DSS, even after an Abuja Municipal Magistrate Court at Wuse Zone 2, had granted him bail last year. But, they met a police resistance.
The group numbering over 700 continued their demonstration until they got to the Government House roundabout where a combined team of Civil Defence and Police threw tear-gas canisters at them and shot and drove them towards Whetheral Road.
Our correspond who was at the scene reports that as the teargas bit harder, the protesters ran for their dear life giving way for free flow of traffic which was interrupted as a result of the demonstration.
Some of the demonstrators told 247ureports.com that the renewed agitation was for the federal government to release Kanu unconditionally and allow Biafran people freedom.
They said that it was wrong for the federal government and her security agents to arrest Kanu because he supports and believe in the freedom of Biafra people.
“Kanu did not commit any wrong to be arrested by the Nigeria government and we cannot hold ourselves back in asking for his release even if we die in the process’’, one of the protesters said.
He added “To prove to you that Nigeria is a complete Zoo, a court of competent jurisdiction just granted Nnamdi Kanu bail, but those who have made Nigeria a zoo country said no to court ruling without even appealing against the matter. With this alone, why would any sensible person still want be in the zoo like an animal?”
The state police spokesman, Andrew Enwerem could not anwer his call when 247ureports.com called him, but a senior police officer, who was among the team that foiled the protest told our correspondent in confidence that at about 9a.m that the command got a tip-off that some people were gathering around Government House Roundabout, with the intention to cause chaos in the state.
He said that the command’s operatives swiftly raced to the area and accordingly dispersed the protesters.
The policeman denied shooting the protesters, saying “the sound you heard was that of teargas canisters which our men used because the protesters were trying to br stubborn”.
“The command is warning miscreants who intend to disrupt the peace in the state to keep off or be ready to face the wrath of the law and we reassure law abiding citizens to go about their business without fear,” he said.