Pro-Donald Trump rally in Nigeria leaves 20 dead, many missing: reports
WARRI, Nigeria – A Nigerian separatist group says the death toll has risen to 20 after a demonstration in support of U.S. President Donald Trump turned into clashes with police.
Friday’s demonstration in southern Rivers state was organized by the Indigenous People of Biafra, which wants Trump to support the creation of an independent Biafran state for the Igbo people.
Member Ugochukwu Chinweuba said Saturday that lawyers were working to locate and release those arrested by police. He said more than 200 people remained missing.
Nnamdi Omoni, a spokesman for Rivers state police, denied that anyone was killed but said 65 people had been arrested.
Neither of the competing accounts could be independently verified.
One million people died in the 1967-70 civil war over efforts to create a Biafran state.
IPOB Press Release!!! THE UNBELIEVABLE DENIAL BY RIVERS STATE POLICE COMMISSIONER, FOLUSO A. ADEBANJO, ON THE POLICE MASSACRE OF BIAFRANS RALLYING AT IGWEOCHA (PORTHARCOURT) IN SUPPORT OF PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP OF USA
January 22, 2017
THE UNBELIEVABLE DENIAL BY RIVERS STATE POLICE COMMISSIONER, FOLUSO A. ADEBANJO, ON THE POLICE MASSACRE OF BIAFRANS RALLYING AT IGWEOCHA (PORTHARCOURT) IN SUPPORT OF PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP OF USA
The world is held aghast at the barefaced lies and unbelievable denial by Mr. Foluso A. Adebanjo, the Rivers State Police Commissioner, concerning the massacre of Biafrans who came out on Friday, January 20th, 2017 to rally in support of Mr. Donald J. Trump, the 45th President of the United States of America. In his denial speech, Mr. Adebanjo could not even differentiate between a protest and a rally, hence his ignorant reference to Biafrans‘ rally as a “protest.“ Given the antecedents of the uncouth and ill-trained Nigerian Policemen and other security agencies, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) under the leadership of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu published a letter which it sent to the Police Authorities in Rivers State which notified them of the upcoming rally. The Police Authorities, on their part, duly acknowledged receipt of the letter via a communication they sent to the IPOB officials in Rivers State. Also, Jeff Amechi Agbodo of The Sun Newspaper reported on January 19th, 2017 that IPOB has formally notified the Rivers State Police of their intention to hold a rally the next day in support of Donald Trump.
IPOB decided to go through this formal communication channel with the Rivers State Police Command despite the fact that Section-39 and Section-40 of Nigeria’s Constitution gave us the right to assemble. Biafrans from all over Nigeria converged at Igweocha on January 20th, 2017, and the rally started in earnest at 9 am along Aba Road by Rumuola Junction.
We invite everyone to watch this Youtube video showing the peaceful and orderly rally conducted by IPOB:
On getting to the Garrison Junction area of the town, Foluso Adebanjo ordered the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police to open fire at the rallying Biafrans. The SARS was later joined by the soldiers of the Nigerian Army and agents of the Department of State Services (DSS). Twenty Biafrans were shot dead on the spot. Seventy Biafrans were terminally shot at critical and vital organs of their bodies. Much more were hit with the butt of the guns, and many more had deep lacerations inflicted on their bodies as the soldiers used bayonets on them. Mr. Foluso Adebanjo also ordered the arrest of over 100 Biafrans who are still in detention up to this moment.
To hide their crimes, Foluso Adebanjo ordered the SARS squad to evacuate the dead bodies to unknown destinations to destroy any evidence of manslaughter against them. Hence Foluso Adebanjo has made away with as much as ten dead bodies of Biafrans. In addition to the felling of unarmed and peaceful Biafrans, Foluso Adebanjo ordered his men to burn American flags, Israeli flags, and Russian flags which they seized from the rallying Biafrans. Unknown to Foluso Adebanjo and his rampaging killer squads, all these were captured in video and shall be released to the appropriate prosecuting authority.
Therefore the denial by Mr. Foluso Adebanjo on the heinous crime he committed on the 20th January 2017 is deceptive and cannot pass the test of time. It is crystal clear now that Foluso Adebanjo and his colleagues at the Rivers State Police Command have joined the infamous group of genocidists such as General Buratai, IGP Solomon Arase, Col. Issah Abdullahi, etc who will spend the rest of their lives in prison for mass-murder. We want to assure Mr. Foluso Adebanjo and his colleagues that they must receive justice, no matter how long it takes.
We call upon the International Community to rise and condemn these despicable acts of Foluso Adebanjo and his colleagues. We also call upon the Envoys of America, Russia, and Israel to demand explanations from Foluso Adebanjo why he resorted to burning the flags of their respective countries. We assure the world that IPOB under the leadership of Nnamdi Kanu remains peaceful and non-violent. Muhammadu Buhari and the British Government have tried in vain to drag us into armed rebellion, but we shall continue to resist such temptations.
We have set our eyes on the restoration of the nation of Biafra and shall never be distracted by Buhari and the British Government. We are doing so with the strong conviction that the restoration of Biafra is unstoppable, irrevocable, and irreversible. Deaths cannot stop us from taking that which God Almighty created for us, and we shall do so following the psalmist words of confidence in Psalm Chapter 27 verse 1.
For us, it is Biafra or death!!!
Barrister Emma Nmezu
Dr. Clifford Chukwuemeka Iroanya
Spokespersons for IPOB
EXCLUSIVE: IPOB mulls armed struggle
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) says it is considering taking up arms to defend itself against repeated attacks from Nigerian security forces.
In November 2016, Amnesty International released a report alleging that Nigerian security forces killed at least 150 peaceful pro-Biafra protesters in the south-east between May and August.
“The Nigerian security forces, led by the military, embarked on a chilling campaign of extrajudicial executions and violence resulting in the deaths of at least 150 peaceful pro-Biafra protesters in the south-east of the country,” the human rights watchdog said in its report.
Also, last Friday, 11 members of the group were allegedly killed in a “solidarity” rally for US President Donald Trump in Port Harcourt, Rivers state capital.
Although, the police denied that there were casualties from the event.
Speaking with TheCable on Sunday, Uche Mefor, the organisation’s deputy leader, said the repeated killing of “Biafran” youth by security agents was a deliberate attempt to exterminate the local population.
He said members of IPOB had observed restraint for long, conforming to all laws, but that the current administration has been “terrorising” them.
“IPOB is law-abiding. We have continued to apply ourselves to the law. We have not killed anybody, we have not attacked anybody, but Buhari has continued to attack us,” he said.
“We have respect for human life, and we have not asked for war. We have exhausted every democratic process. We have been pushed to the wall. We are forced to defend ourselves.
“Self defence is a fundamental right; we have a right to self defence. We have been pushed to armed struggle, and if the millions of us take up arms the Nigeria army cannot stop us.
“The killings are a deliberate attempt to exterminate us. What we are asking for is a free state of Biafra. Buhari is supporting an independent state for Palestine and Western Sahara, why not Biafra?
“What we are doing is not illegal. It is supported by international law. We believe in the sanctity of human life.”
However, the IPOB leader did not state how the group would go about its armed struggle.
IPOB has become more visible since October 2015, when Nnamdi Kanu, its leader, was arrested for alleged treason.
Members of the group have held protests, marches and rallies across the southeast, south-south, and even in the federal capital territory (FCT).
It wants an independent state for the south-east and adjoining states.