- We are not aware of such incident –Army
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), yesterday accused soldiers from the military cantonment at Ohafia, Abia State of swooping on its women at a meeting at Abiriba, Abia State, while identifying with IPOB leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. It was alleged that soldiers from the 14 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Ohafia, Abia State, had yesterday broke into a peaceful meeting of women in the area and allegedly roughhandled and arrested some women for reasons yet to be ascertained.
But a statement made available to journalists in Awka, IPOB media and publicity secretary, Emma Powerful, alleged that the Nigeria Police also joined the soldiers in the humiliation, molestation and manhandling of the women, who did not commit any crime except identifying with the cause of IPOB leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. According to Powerful, the soldiers stormed the venue of the meeting with 20 Hilux vans, alleging that without provocation, the soldiers started beating, arresting and tearing the women’s clothes off their bodies.
He noted that some of the women were stripped naked before they were taken to the army barracks at Ohafia. The statement by Powerful read: “The IPOB and its leadership worldwide condemn the unprofessional conduct of the Nigerian Army located at Ohafia against the Biafran and IPOB women’s general meeting holding in Abiriba, Abia State. “Food, clothes and accessories belonging to the women were seized by the soldiers and taken to the Ohafia barracks. “This undemocratic conduct of the Nigeria Army must be condemned by all civilized people and nations.
The approach to civil policing adopted by the army makes a mockery of common sense and decency. “Is it the duty of the army to be going about stripping women naked for no justifiable reason? We further gathered from an eye witness at the conference venue that some of the women who were arrested by the Nigerian Army were totally stripped naked.
“This is the highest form of criminal brutality against Biafrans by security operatives and we wonder when this crime against humanity and unprofessional conduct of the Nigerian Army will stop.“We are, therefore, calling on the women organizations around the globe to condemn and take this abuse of Biafra women by the Nigerian Army to the rest of the world.
“We also call on Queen Elizabeth II of England, the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel and other notable women, including human rights organizations across the world, to protect the rights of Biafran women from the hands of the Nigerian Army.” In his reaction, the deputy director, Army public relations of the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Col. Sagir Musa, denied any knowledge of such incident. Also speaking to journalists, the paramount ruler of the area, Enachoken of Abiriba, explained that a great number of women had gathered unannounced for prayers at the Abiriba Stadium.