While Nigerians are still reeling from the grisly events of October 20 2020, where unarmed protesters were shot at and killed by men of the Nigerian army at the Lekki Toll Plaza in Lagos, we may have been oblivious or have failed to pay attention to an equally horrifying incident happening in the Oyigbo, a satellite of Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
As reported by Premium Times, the Nigerian military have taken to indiscriminate shooting of residents in the town. Using interviews with multiple sources, including families of victims, witnesses, military, mortuary attendants and hospital sources, and a review of verified citizen-generated videos and photos, Premium Times was able to put together an exposé highlighting the gruesome murder of innocent people in the area by the Nigerian Army.
The article points out that the Oyigbo episode began after the #LekkiShooting when some degenerate residents of the town began attacking and killing police officers. In the early hours of October 21, angry mobs broke into two police stations one on the expressway to Aba and the other at Afam, there they stole ammunitions and released inmates.
It was also reported that four police officers were brutally murdered, two sergeants; Swale Orlan and Umulla and two inspectors; Ona Amaechi and Sunday Dubol.
When the heat got too much for the police, the military was invited by Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike. This didn’t really deter the attacks as the military reportedly suffered casualties also. They claimed that seven military officers were killed by suspected members of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB). Although they refused to release the names of the officers killed.
In response to this, the military went on a killing spree, shooting indiscriminately at residents of the area for harboring IPOB members as a sort of revenge mission. The report highlights a number of cases where the innocent were on the receiving end of the military’s backlash. The report even has revelations from an anonymous military personnel who claimed that their action is a revenge mission, and also a show of strength, as a way to instill fear in those threatening chaos under the banner of IPOB.
The sheer number of human rights abuses going on in the State range from extrajudicial killings, to torture, burning of ambulances with dead bodies in it, and people even being punished by the military for having picture and videos of the victims.
The military and the Rivers state government denied any of this, stating that the military was only in the area to fish out separatist groups who murdered soldiers and police officers, and also to recover stolen arms and ammunitions.
This, no doubt have instilled fear in the hearts of residents in the area, as an imposed curfew and daily shootings have trapped people in their houses, with no food, water or freedom to go get some. In fact, the hostility in the area have scared people from travelling out of or into the town all together. Although there are those brave enough to have found their way to safer zones like Port Harcourt, west of the area, or Imo and Abia, east of the area.
For Chinedu Okafor, its all about making an impact with words, creating a profound impression on the audience with the intended narrative.