Suspected IPOB members confront Obiano at church service

Willie Obiano

Group denies protesters at event
Members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) at the weekend allegedly attacked Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano.

The incident, The Guardian gathered, was the second in less than three months and was said to have taken place during a church service at St Joseph Catholic Church, Ekwulobia in Aguata Local Council of the state.

An eyewitness said the governor had hardly settled down inside the church on arrival for the 9:00 a.m. service when several youths adorning Biafra insignias, badges and pin-ups who apparently may have got wind of the governor’s presence stormed the place.

They besieged the gate of the church premises shouting: “No election in Anambra State”, “No referendum, no election”, “We want referendum”, and so on.

The timely intervention of the security men attached to the governor who were said to have locked the gate against the IPOB members saved the situation.

The Anambra State Police Commissioner, Mr. Garba Umar, who confirmed the incident on phone, warned that the police would no longer tolerate such impunity.

According to him, the intention of the protesters was to “attack” the governor.

He charged journalists to expose the attitude, saying: “You press people should report this. We will no longer tolerate this impunity from anybody.

“Why should they protest to the church? The church is a place of worship and not a place of protest. It is obvious that they had
criminal intention to attack the governor.

“The police had to stop them at the gate. If they had dared my men, it would have been a different story. We can’t watch anybody breach public peace in this state. They should be warned to desist from this impunity.”

Meanwhile, IPOB Publicity Secretary. Emma Powerful, has accused government officials of orchestrating the attack to discredit the group.

He also accused some government officials of complicity.

Some youths, suspected to be members of the IPOB, had allegedly disrupted a church programme recently at Odekpe in Ogbaru Local Council of the state attended by the governorship candidate of the Progressives People’s Alliance (PPA), Mr. Godwin Ezeemo.

They had also disrupted the governor’s public function in Onitsha South area, shouting “No election, no election.”

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