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Three pro-Biafra protesters shot in Rivers

By Adamu Abuh (Abuja) and Kelvin Ebiri (Port Harcourt)   |   11 November 2015   |   4:05 am  

Biafra-protestAT least three pro-Biafran protesters were shot by soldiers in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, during a demonstration against the continued detention of Radio Biafra Director, Nnamdi Kanu.

But Rivers State government has condemned the demonstration and dissociated itself from the protests by members of the pro-Biafran groups.

In a statement issued yesterday evening, the Rivers State government said it takes exception to the disruption of commercial activities by the protesters.

The Special Assistant to Rivers State Governor, Simeon Nwaka, said the state government believes in one indivisible Nigeria.

“In as much as people have the right to peaceful protest, it should not be at the detriment of other members of the public. If the protesters have any misgiving, they should channel same to the appropriate authorities”, he said.

Meanwhile, the Buhari Media Support Group (BMSG) yesterday accused the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of fanning the embers of discord among Nigerians out of its desperate desire to undermine the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
BMSG’s Co-ordinator, Malam Muhammad Labbo, in a statement particularly accused the PDP of masterminding the spate of pro-Biafra protestations in the South-South and South-East geo-political zones.

The group, which admonished the PDP to take it to heart that elections have been won and lost; and that they are left with no option but to avoid any action that could cause disharmony among Nigerians, said: “It is rather, unfortunate, that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has, out of a morbid desperation and the grumpy frustration of a failed political oligarchy, decidedly exploited the street protests in some parts of the states in the South-East and South-South geo-political zones of the country to advance its unconscionable war of attrition against the governing All Progressives Congress (APC).

Hundreds of pro-Biafran agitators started arriving Port Harcourt from Aba in Abia State in the early hours of yesterday in preparation for a major demonstration against the detention of Kanu.

A security source told The Guardian that based on intelligence report, scores of soldiers and other security agents, including the police, were deployed to all major entrance points in the state, particularly Eleme Junction, to thwart the protest. And sensing that the military and other personnel had been deployed to thwart the planned protest, the pro-Biafran agitators decided to by-pass the soldiers at Eleme Junction and made their way to Artillery Junction along the busy Port Harcourt-Aba Road where they were supposed to be joined by their affiliates who are based in Port Harcourt.

As soon as the protesters started disembarking from the buses that convened them, the fierce-looking soldiers and police stationed around the area stormed the scene and tried to disperse the protesters by shooting into the air. Amid the sporadic gunshots, at least three protesters were struck by stray bullets and were evacuated by other protesters.

The sporadic shooting caused serious pandemonium around Aba Road causing people to scamper for safety. Commercial activities along the Aba Road were paralysed and commuters stranded.



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