Category Archives: Violence

Nigeria: Over 60 (30 Identified) Now killed & 90-100 (50 Identified) Injured In Obigbo Army Massacre-Intersociety

Onitsha, Eastern Nigeria
Thursday, 19th Nov 2020

The Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law is deeply sad, worried and dismayed over the continuation of Army massacre operations in Obigbo and global silence trailing same.

With our latest updates, the number of slain defenseless Igbo citizens of Obigbo residency and environs in Rivers State has now risen to at least 60 with between 90 and 100 others shot and deadly injured. Dozens have also been permanently disappeared and 200-300 others militarily abducted and held in custodies only known to the Nigerian Army.

The Nigeria Police Force, Rivers State Command is also strongly believed to be holding not less than 100 persons. All the surviving victims being held alive by the Army and the Police are strongly believed to be undergoing torture and other harsh detention conditions. There are also no credible pieces of evidence showing that the sick and the injured detainees are receiving adequate medical treatments, raising serious fears of some dying in Army or Police custody or both.

We therefore strongly call for international intervention to stop the atrocious Army operations. The Nigerian Government and Nyesom Wike led Government of Rivers State must be prevailed upon to immediately withdraw the killer soldiers deployed to Obigbo and environs and all those currently held by the Army and the Nigeria Police Force in Rivers State and neighboring Abia State must be freed unconditionally or put on fair trial.

The Obigbo massacre must not only be thoroughly investigated but also the perpetrators of the dastardly act including Major Gen Olu Irefin (GOC, 6 Division, Port Harcourt), Brig Gen SB Kumupayi (Commander, 14 Brigade, Ohafia) and Gov Nyesom Wike must be fished out at appropriate time and place and put on local and international trial for mass murder and crimes against property well as crimes against humanity.

We also wish to state boldly and factually that what is going on in Obigbo is far more devastating and three times murderous than the 20th night of Oct 2020 Lekki Tollgate Army shootings and killings targeted at gathered unarmed and defenseless protesters in Lagos State.

In other words, the number of unarmed and defenseless citizens killed so far at Obigbo in Rivers State is at least three times higher than that of Lekki Tollgate in Lagos State.

While the Lekki Tollgate killings took the lives of about 20 persons, the number of persons so far killed in Obigbo has risen to at least 60, out of which 30 have been verified bodily or by names.

On the other hand, while the number of those shot and deadly injured in the Lekki Tollgate shootings is about 30, the number of those shot and deadly injured at Obigbo has risen to between 90 and 100, out of which 50 names have so far been identified. The ongoing Obigbo Army massacre has also resulted in permanent disappearances of dozens and 200-300 Army abductions.

Unlike the Lekki Tollgate Army massacre where ‘ethnic cleansing’ was never intended even though a good number, if not majority of the dead activists were Igbo citizens; in Obigbo, the Army massacre there was and still is a full blown ‘ethnic cleansing’.

Apart from the fact that 98% of the dead and the shot and deadly injured victims in Obigbo are citizens of Igbo Nation, using “IPOB death code”, the Nigerian Army and other killer squads loyal to the Rivers State Government headed by Gov Nyeson Wike have also applied instant death and abduction code against every citizen with Igbo name or identity.

In other words, any citizen with Igbo name or identity caught during their house breaking and house-to-house search and violence is instantly labeled “IPOB member” and either killed or abducted.

Therefore, going by our earlier promise of keeping the global community with verified updates over the ongoing Nigerian Army-Gov Nyesom Wike massacre operations in Obigbo, Rivers State; Intersociety has updated and verified 30 of the dead victims and 50 names of the shot and deadly injured in the massacre. We had in our first statement of 6th Nov 2020, released names of eight slain citizens and three unidentified others as well as 22 names of the shot and deadly injured others and made a promise to launch a detailed investigation into the massacre.

The Obigbo Army massacre, now bearing semblance of ‘ethnic cleansing’ and still ongoing, had occurred since 21st Oct 2020 following a curfew and thoughtless order issued same date by Gov Nyesom Wike, which the heavily Muslim controlled and secularity challenged Nigerian Army cashed in to levy human and property war targeting members of the Judeo-Christian Igbo population residing in the area; by killing them at will and looting and destroying their properties. Homes and areas occupied by Igbo natives have been targeted and are still being targeted by soldiers and-any person with Igbo identity is instantly made to run the high risk of losing his or her life or liberty and property.

The soldiers had In keeping with their new “IPOB death code”, abducted and presumably killed scores of unarmed and defenseless Igbo citizens living in the area-with multiple dozens, if not hundreds still held in the custodies of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army located in Port Harcourt and Elele as well as its neighboring Asa-Ukwa military facilities in Abia State.

They have been held in such facilities for past 28 days or since 21st Oct without being released or handed over to the Nigeria Police Force as required by law. Hundreds of homes have been broken into and still being broken into-with their Igbo occupants abducted at ungodly hours and their properties razed or destroyed or vandalized or burnt. It is credibly estimated that the Nigerian Army is presently holding not less than 200-300 of the arrested.

For instance, the areas affected by the Army massacre in Obigbo and environs are Obigbo Expressway (surrounded with armored tanks since 21st Oct till date), Old Aba Road (under siege since 21st Oct), Obigbo Roundabout (under siege since 21st Oct), Mbabo Camp (under siege since 21stOct), Ehi Road/Umunchi (under siege since 23rd Oct), Kom Kom Area (under siege since 24th Oct), Ohafia/Abiriba Quarters (under siege since 26th-27thOct and 11th-12th Nov and Obeama Area (under siege since 29th-31st Oct ), etc.

Terrified witnesses including passersby are also alleging the dumping and drowning of scores of slain corpses inside ‘Imo Gate’ and ‘Mmiri Nwanyi’ Rivers. Some claimed to have sighted some floating corpses at ‘Mmiri Nwanyi River on 29th and 31stOct and ‘Imo Gate River Banks’ on 7th and 8th Nov 2020. The witnesses were unable to photo or video the ‘floating corpses’ owing to heavy presence of soldiers guarding the areas for possible destruction of evidence or erasing traces.

Timber Road area has been under Army terror since 28th Oct. A Jewish Shabbat Mission in the area was attacked and dozens of its worshippers and officials abducted with scores killed. Umusonye/School Road and Vacation Areas have also been under Army siege, forcing several, if not many of their residents to flee. At Okpulo Area, residents including Shabbat religionists were attacked on 6thNov and on 8th Nov, the Shabbat Mission in the Area was demolished; likewise terrorization of residents of Ikwere-Ngwo Area and violent attacks on their houses including demolition of another Shabbat Mission in the Area. Houses and residents of Okoloma-Afam have been under heavy military terrorization since 12th and 14th Nov 2020.

Along Tap Junction, at least four defenseless citizens were shot dead and scores injured by soldiers in the evening of 11th Nov. This is according to eyewitnesses’ accounts. At Mbano Camp same evening of 11th Nov 2020, three persons were shot dead and at Obigbo Express Junction, two more persons were shot dead and at Ohafia and Abiriba Junction same date and time, witnesses said “between 15 and 20 persons” were shot dead following indiscriminate shootings in different terminal directions by soldiers. While some of the corpses particularly those that felled off the road or street or inside gutters are abandoned to decompose, soldiers made away with others.

The heavy presence of soldiers also made it very difficult for relations of the slain to pick up their relatives’ bodies. Late Queen Nwazuo was among those shot and killed by military’s rain of bullets fired in different terminal directions. She was shot dead in front of her shop around noon of 23rd Oct 2020. She was killed at Umunchi Junction, Ehi Road in Obigbo. Among those abducted in their sleep by soldiers are Aneke Sunday and Onyema Christopher Onyeiro.

While Citizen Aneke Sunday was abducted in his sleep around 2am in his residence around Market Road, Obigbo, Citizen Onyema Christopher Onyeiro and scores of his co residents were abducted around 11pm on 17th Nov 2020 at Isaiah Eletuo Street, Obigbo.

In all these, the Government of Rivers State and authorities of the Nigerian Army (who have refused to speak and maintained silence of the graveyard on the massacre) are stopping at nothing to ensure that the truth concerning the massacre never sees the light of the day. Gov Wike apart from going about denying that “no killings took place at Obigbo”, has also been trying to divert the public attention by urging ‘all to condemn the killing of soldiers, police personnel and burning of police stations at Obigbo rather than wasting time seeking to investigate without evidence the Oyigbo incident”.

Attempts by the NBA fact-finding committee to investigate the massacre have also been strongly resisted by the Gov and Government of Rivers State.

Updated Slain Victims Of Obigbo Army Massacre:

Their identities are: (1) Pastor Igwe (slain husband of Mrs. Amara Igwe), (2) Queen Nwazuo (slain fiancée of Mr. Monday Bakor), (3) Okoro Peter and (4) Mr. Chinwendu (the two were shot at close range and killed instantly by soldiers including busting the brain box and fluids of Late Chnwendu on 24thOct 2020 few meters away from Gov Wike’s convoy during his visit to Obigbo), (5) Jude Egejuru (died from gunshot injuries), (6) Clifford Okeke, (7) Cornelius Anya, (8) Udeme Ossy Monday, (9) Edochie Steven, (10) Ebere, (11) Wisdom, (12) Chizy (missing and presumed dead), (13) Michael Nkama (believe to have died from gunshot injuries) and (14) Chinonso Joshua (died from gunshot injuries), (15) Godwin Samuel Umahi, (17) Sunday Umahi, (18) Queen Eze, (19) Darlington, (20) Chinonso Udoh (missing and presumed dead), (21) Kufre Sandy (missing and presumed dead), (22) Justice (shot dead in front of his residence), (23) Martins (missing and presumed dead), (24) Ebite Orjinta (Ihite-Uboma, Imo State), (25) Sunday Aneke (missing and presumed dead), (26) a young nursing mother (died from gunshot injuries) and (27) her newborn baby of one month, 3 weeks and two days (yet to locate her relatives), (28) a yet-to-be identified dead citizen, (29) second yet-to-be-identified citizen and (30) third yet-to-be-identified dead citizen. The three slain bodies were shot and left to decompose along an Obigbo Street in a verified video footage.

Updated Injured Victims Of Obigbo Army Massacre:

Among the deadly injured are: (1) Chukwuma Chinonso, (2) Nwoke Okwudiri Nwonye, (3) Uche Ogbonna, (4) Chikaodi Agwu, (5) Michael Okwudiri, (6) John Emeka, (7) Agwu Enyi, (8) Obichukwu Chibuike, (9) Izuchukwu Igwe, (10) Eluu Chukwuemeka, (11) Arinze Joshua, (12) Nwakama Izuegbe, (13) Destiny Okorie, (14) Israel Asoh, (15) Emeka Heart, (16) Victor Heart, (17) Orji Amaoji, (18) Paschal, (19) Obasi Emela, (20) Chiwuzu Orjinta, (21) Sylvester Odoche, (22) Elochukwu Emeka, (23)Nwakama Uzuegbu, (24) David Godwin, (25) Chima Iwuala, (26) Theresa David, (27) Ozara Ede Anyanwu, (28) Nnamdi Udorji, (29) Obasi Emerem, (30) Sunday Okoegwu, (31) Ozuen Christian, (32) Chima Ogbona, (33) Samuel Obasi, (34) Solomon Ukezu, (35) Ndubuisi Azunna, (36) Victoria Ndubuisi, (37) Ubong Umoh, (38) Tochukwu Nicholas, (39) Anthony Obi, (40) Udorji Anayo, (41) Etim Ubong, (42) Chisom Nnamdi, (43) Eric Angel, (44) Peter Ajah, (45) Uzochukwu, (46) Godwin, (47) Emeka, (48) Arinze, (49) Mike Ujam and (50) Ugwuanyi Ogbuu.

Signed:

Principal Officers: Emeka Umeagbalasi (Board Chair),

Chinwe Umeche, Esq., (Head of Democracy),

Obianuju Igboeli, Esq., (Head of Civil Liberties),

Ndidiamaka Bernard, Esq., (Head of Int’l Justice & Human Rights) and Comrade Sam Kamanyaoku

(Head of Field Data Collection & Documentation)

Contacts:
Mobile/WhatsApp: +2348174090052
Email: info@intersociety-ng.org
Website: http://www.intersociety-ng.org

#EndSARS: CNN releases damning report about Lekki toll gate shooting+VIDEO

This story contains graphic imagery of injury and death. The full names of some interviewees and the identities of others have been withheld for their safety.

Sometime after midnight on October 21, Elisha Sunday Ibanga answered a phone call from his older brother’s number.

The person on the other end of the line — a stranger — broke the news that Ibanga’s brother, Victor, had been shot dead at the Lekki toll gate, in Lagos, Nigeria, where he had been peacefully protesting against police brutality earlier that night.

“The person told me that the police took his body away,” Ibanga, 24, told CNN.

An eyewitness to Victor Sunday Ibanga’s death told CNN the 27-year-old entrepreneur was shot in the head during the protest.

CNN has obtained and geolocated a photograph of Victor’s body lying in a pool of blood and wrapped in the white and green of the Nigerian standard — one of the same flags gripped by fellow protesters earlier in the evening as they sang the country’s national anthem. Ibanga confirmed the photograph is of his brother.

The body of Victor Sunday Ibanga is pictured in a pool of blood.

The Ibangas are one of several families yet to locate the bodies of their missing loved ones — protestors at the toll gate — who dozens of eyewitnesses say were shot at, first by members of the Nigerian army and then hours later by police. Eyewitnesses told CNN they saw the army remove a number of bodies from the scene.

What happened on October 20, and into the early hours of October 21, at the eight-lane Lekki toll gate — a key piece of Lagos’ road network — has stunned the country.

The protesters who were present have told CNN it was a “massacre” with multiple people killed and dozens wounded. But local authorities have downplayed that account.

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, admitted to CNN that footage showed uniformed soldiers firing on peaceful protesters but claimed only two demonstrators were killed.

But, he then said there was “not a scratch of blood” at the toll gate when he visited. The governor said no families had approached authorities saying they were missing relatives.

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, the army denied any involvement, describing reports of the incident as “fake news,” before backtracking and saying that soldiers were present but fired their weapons in the air and used blanks, not live rounds.

CNN’s calls to the Nigerian army have not been returned. But on November 14, during a judicial inquiry into the shooting, army representative Brigadier Ahmed Taiwo said, “There’s no way officers and men will kill their brothers and sisters. I repeat no way. We have those who constantly seek to drive a wedge between us and between the citizens of Nigeria…”

The army also said at the hearing that it was the governor who called soldiers to the scene because the police were overrun. The governor has denied this, saying he does not have the authority to call in the army. The army has continued to restate that they did not fire live rounds.

But an investigation by CNN into the disputed events has cast doubt on authorities’ shifting and changing statements.

Evidence of bullet casings from the scene match those used by the Nigerian army when shooting live rounds, according to current and former Nigerian military officials. Verified video footage — using timestamps and data from the video files — shows soldiers who appear to be shooting in the direction of protesters. And accounts from eyewitnesses establish that after the army withdrew, a second round of shooting happened later in the evening.

Victor Sunday Ibanga

Since Elisha Sunday Ibanga learned of his brother’s death, he has been visiting hospitals in a desperate search for his remains.

“My mother, my sisters, all my family are in prayer, just to see if we can find out and know where my brother’s dead body is,” he said.

The bodies of other protesters are nowhere to be found.

Peace Okon, 24, hasn’t seen her younger brother Wisdom, 18, since he went to the protest the night of the shooting.

Wisdom Okon

“He just came back from work on that Tuesday, ate his food and went there,” Okon told CNN.

She started worrying when he didn’t arrive home that night. By the next morning, Okon was out searching for him. “I’ve gone to hospitals, I’ve gone to police stations, I’ve gone to everywhere. I can’t find him,” she said.

Her brother had only moved to Lagos a few weeks before the protest — Okon had helped him find a job as a cleaner at a bank. She says he didn’t know anyone at the protest and had never been to one before.

Okon said she wants the Nigerian authorities to tell her if her brother is alive and detained or dead.

The shootings at Lekki toll gate followed weeks of “#EndSARS” protests against police brutality that had burst onto the streets of cities across Nigeria.

For almost a fortnight, thousands of young Nigerians mostly under 30 — a demographic that makes up 40% of the country’s population — protested, with calls for an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, a police unit widely and repeatedly accused of kidnapping, harassment and extortion.

Police had agreed to disband the controversial unit but protests continued. It would be the fourth time it was being disbanded.

There were peaceful marches, candlelight vigils, multi-faith prayer sessions and DJ performances that attracted backing and solidarity from celebrities, the Nigerian diaspora and supporters around the world. The movement quickly widened beyond police brutality to other grievances — capturing the frustrations of a young population demanding an end to bad governance in the oil-rich country.

Lekki, a relatively affluent suburb of Lagos, and the toll gate became a focal point of the movement.

However, about 10 days into the protests, the demonstrations were hijacked by “thugs and sponsored hoodlums” who attacked protesters, causing deaths and injuries, according to Amnesty International Nigeria.

In response, on October 20, hours before the shooting, Governor Sanwo-Olu imposed a strict curfew starting at 4 p.m. following looting and vandalism in other parts of the state.

It was later moved to 9 p.m. to allow commuters to get home. The timeline for when the curfew was imposed has become a point of contention between the Governor and the military. The army said their soldiers were unaware of the change to the later time, according to the army spokesperson’s testimony to the eight-person judicial panel on November 14.

For 24 hours, only essential service providers were to be allowed on the streets of the 20-million strong city.

Demonstrators protest police brutality at the Lekki toll gate on October 20.

Testimony from dozens of eyewitnesses and family members interviewed by CNN and a forensic examination of hours of video and dozens of photographs captured before, during and after the two shooting incidents show how a fledgling protest movement was all but extinguished by the very thing Nigerians were demonstrating against.

Less than three hours after the original curfew time came into effect, army trucks left the Bonny Camp barracks on Victoria Island and headed towards the toll gate plaza and the protesters, according to videos reviewed by CNN.

Two eyewitnesses told CNN they saw soldiers arriving in a Toyota Hilux pickup truck with “OP Awatse” written on it — the name of a joint military task force that operates in Lagos State.

Videos examined by CNN show the army trucks approaching the protesters from both sides of the toll gate — barricading them in.

DJ Switch, a local musician whose real name is Obianuju Catherine Udeh, was streaming live on Instagram when it all happened and the shooting began.

The shooting started almost immediately, with no warning given. Panic ensued as protesters attempted to flee.

“Please explain to me how, in which part of the world, do you go to a protest with live bullets.”

“There was a guy that was running, and he just… he fell, and we looked at him. He was shot in the back,” DJ Switch, 29, told CNN, as she tried to talk during an interview while crying.

“Please explain to me how, in which part of the world, do you go to a protest with live bullets,” she said.

From multiple videos, CNN has pieced together a timeline that shows that shooting by the army lasted from 6:43 p.m. until at least 8:24 p.m., according to video evidence.

The videos capturing some of those 101 minutes tell a story of terror and chaos. They show graphic injuries and people bleeding on the ground.

One eyewitness, Sarah, whose last name we’re not publishing for her safety, told CNN that the soldiers shot in the air but also directly at protesters.

“They pointed their guns at us and they started shooting,” she said. “They were shooting in the air, they were shooting at us, they were shooting everywhere.”

Some chanted: “We are peaceful protesters” and “End Sars, we no go gree [pidgin for we will not agree, or give in].”

“They’re shooting, they’re shooting,” another person screams in one of the videos. Cries of “Na lie, na lie [exclamations of disbelief in pidgin]” can also be heard.

In several of the videos, reviewed and verified by CNN, some of the protesters can be seen carrying bodies, the flashlights on their phones the only thing illuminating the darkness as the sound of ambulance sirens wail in the background. It is not known whether these were dead or injured protesters.

In another, there are several injured people, some on the ground bleeding while defiant protesters continued to wave Nigerian flags.

Injured people whom CNN has confirmed were present at the toll gate started arriving in local hospitals — carried by civilians — from 7:19 p.m. while the shooting was still ongoing, according to videos analyzed by CNN.

One of the protesters, Mathew, pictured, says he was injured when the army opened fire at Lekki toll gate. Using metadata, CNN geolocated the image to the protest location at 6:50 pm.

CNN has also seen and verified footage from one man who used his car as a makeshift ambulance and transported people to hospital.

Separately, Dr. Ayo Aranmolate, executive medical director at Grandville medical center, told CNN he and his colleagues received around 15 injured people that night with various gunshot wounds and cuts. None of the people they treated died, he added.

“We referred some for treatment to other hospitals,” Dr. Aranmolate said. “One of the victims had to have his leg amputated.”

The army has denied that anyone was taken to hospital with gunshot wounds, and that they only shot into the air.

Speaking in front of the judicial panel, the army spokesman Brigadier Ahmed Taiwo continued to deny that anyone was shot.

Multiple eyewitnesses told CNN that ambulances were prevented from reaching the scene by the authorities.

A video filmed at 8:49 p.m., according to metadata, shows ambulance workers in a van at the scene saying they are unable to get through.

When contacted by CNN to share the findings of this investigation, a Lagos State government spokesman declined to comment.

“Talking about that subject now will be sub-judicial since the matter is already before a panel of inquiry. Until the panel concludes its investigation, the subject will not be open to any discussion or comment by any State official,” the spokesperson said.

Members of the judicial panel visit the Lekki toll gate on October 30.

DJ Switch said she wanted people to see what was happening which is why she started broadcasting.

“I didn’t want anybody to come on and twist the story. I wanted people to see. So, I just went live.”

At one point during the broadcast, there were attempts to resuscitate a man in red clothing who had passed out.

Later, DJ Switch can be seen helping to extract a bullet lodged in another man’s thigh as he screams in agony. Someone in the crowd says, “you will live, you will not die.”

As the live broadcast ends, people are still trying to apply CPR on the man in red, while DJ Switch can be heard saying, “this guy is dying.”

DJ Switch told CNN that protesters lifted bodies with bullet wounds and put them at the soldiers’ feet.

“I said, why are you killing us? Why are you doing this,” she said. “He expressly told me: ‘I am acting on orders from above.'”

CNN has examined bullet casings found at the scene and confirmed with current and former Nigerian military sources that the bullet casings match those used by the army. Two ballistics experts have also confirmed with CNN that the shape of the bullet casings indicate they used live rounds, which contradicts the army’s claim they fired blanks.

CNN has verified that bullets fired at Lekki toll gate are from live ammunition. This one was manufactured in Serbia in 2005, and is currently in use by the Nigerian army.

And working with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, CNN has established that several of the bullets from the Lekki toll gate originated from Serbia. Export documents CNN has seen show that Nigeria purchased weaponry from Serbia almost every year between 2005 and 2016.

After the army withdrew from the scene, members of the police, including the SARS police unit — disbanded by authorities on 11 October — moved in, according to multiple eyewitnesses CNN spoke with.

In a video obtained by CNN and geolocated to Lekki toll gate at 2:36 a.m., one eyewitness, Legend, whose second name we’re not publishing for his safety, can be seen with the Nigerian flag around his head saying, “…my hand is broken, my leg is broken, and police are still shooting at us.”

“I couldn’t count how many dead because I was running for my life.”

“They are shooting anything that moves outside…Stay safe through the night. And if I don’t make it through the night let it be known that I died fighting for our freedom, for what we believe in.”

Legend, who survived, told CNN his father was a police officer and that he recognized the SARS uniform. About 200 protesters remained at the toll gate when witnesses say police and SARS arrived, he added.

“I couldn’t count how many dead because I was running for my life,” Legend said. “If I stood my ground five more seconds, I would be dead.”

While CNN has not been able to independently verify that SARS members were present, multiple eyewitnesses said they saw police officers, accompanied by officers from the unit, at the scene after the army left.

A Lagos State police spokesman declined to comment because of the ongoing panel investigation. But police have denied any use of force against protesters on Twitter, saying, “….our police officers never resorted to use of unlawful force or shooting at the protesters.”

The widespread looting and damage that occurred across Lagos in the aftermath of the Lekki toll gate shooting has led to the authorities clamping down on people who took part in the protests.

Workers clean up the Lekki toll gate on October 24.

Many feel they are being scapegoated for taking part in peaceful protests — wrongly blamed for the looting — and fear has descended on the movement since the shooting.

Moe Odele, a prominent lawyer who was giving legal advice to demonstrators arrested during the protests, says she was recently prevented from leaving the country after her passport was seized. Odele told CNN that her passport has since been returned.

The country’s central bank has obtained a 90-day court order freezing the accounts of those who took part in the demonstrations, according to media reports, while a journalist who covered the protests was arrested and detained for five days before being freed on bail.

Several eyewitnesses have fled the country, while others are living in safe houses. Some told CNN they were offered money to recant their initial testimonies.

CNN has seen some of the messages received, though it is unclear who is sending them.

“We’re hiding because our lives are in danger,” an eyewitness named Sarah told CNN. “We can’t go out, our jobs are on hold right now, and it’s really sad because we did nothing wrong.”

“All we did was ask for change.”

Edited by Blathnaid Healy. Map by Natalie Croker and Henrik Pettersson. Photo editing by Sarah Tilotta

CNN

Govt, trad institutions, security agencies, clergy must tackle insecurity in Edo now – Edo Indigenes

The leadership of Edo Indigenous Movement Worldwide (EIM), also known as Edo Progressive Indigenes Association (EPIA) has said that the issue of insecurity in Edo State has become a clear and present danger.

EPIA in a Press Release signed by its leader, Chief (Dr) Bishop Enoyiogiere J Omogiade Edokpolo stated that the issue must be treated as an emergency, and not with kid gloves as it has become a thrwta to the overall existence of Edo people.

He called on the various arms of government- legislators and the state government to convoke an emergency security town hall meeting and come up with a solution immediately.

His words “It’s high time the government, politicians, traditional rulers, security outfits, and religious leaders should take insecurity more seriously than ever in Edo State, and bring long lasting solution to this clear and present danger we face.

“As we have said before in EPIA, the issue of law and order is the priority for EPIA/EIM.

” It is clear that development can not strive anywere there is insecurity. Edo has been making progress in other sectors, but now there is even an urgent need for this government to act fast in tackling insecurity in our state.

“The governor and lawmakers need to introduce a state cleansing on this negative energy and put a permanent solution to it as this has been persistent since the past decade now.

“As a matter of urgency, a Security Town Hall meeting needs to be held for us to deicide the way forward and nip this problem in thr bud. Please, its time to act, and act fast”, he stated.

Cult war creeps from Edo to Delta, as 7 are killed in Ughelli

Seven persons were said to have been killed at the weekend as two rival cult groups clashed in Ughelli, headquarters of Ughelli North local government area of Delta State.

This development is the latest since secret cultists have resumed their war in Benin City, capital of Edo State.

A POS Operator was also robbed and shot by hoodlums at the weekend during the clash between Aiye and Bangas cult groups while many others were left with serious injuries as both groups engaged each other with guns and other weapons.

It was reliably gathered that trouble started when a mamber of one of the cult groups was killed, which later led to the killings of members by both cult groups.

A source who pleaded anonymity said over the weekend several members belonging to either group have been seen killed at different locations of Ughelli, Ughelli North Local Government Area.

It was gathered that one of the strongmen of Bangas was murdered along Akpodiete street, two others killed in Ekiugbo while another one killed at Oghenevwetata street on Saturday night.

Two other cult members suspected to be brothers, Master Frank and Oghenero were attacked at in their house (Poyo compound) close to Ataverhe junction in Ekiugbo, Ughelli North.

It was learnt that Frank and Oghenero were dragged from their room to an uncompleted building within the compound where they were both shot dead while others were seen matcheted at the head and neck regions.

In a related development, a POS Operator, Celestina Ochuko was also robbed and shot on the thigh by two unknown hoodlums taking advantage of the rival cult groups battle.

The investigation had revealed that the victim had resisted the attempt by the hoodlums to snatch her bag containing an undisclosed amount of cash and other valuables.

Meanwhile, the victim was rushed to the Central hospital Ughelli for medical attention, while the matter has been reported at ‘A’ Division police station in Ughelli.

The Divisional Police Officer, A’Division Ughelli could not be reached for comments on the incident but a senior police officer confirmed the incident.

The Nation

CULT WAR: Edo Govt, community& religious leaders meet over insecurity, as police deploy 877 new constables

As part of efforts to tackle rising insecurity to safeguard lives and property in Edo State, government officials on Monday met with traditional, religious and community leaders in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area (LGA) to chart a path on the new community-based security scheme in the area.

This is as the first batch of 877 of the 2000 community constables trained at the Nigeria Police Training School are being deployed to various communities to work with local community arrangements to ensure effective coordination and keep criminals out of the state.

Present at the meeting, which took place at the Council’s Secretariat in Idogbo, were elders, dukes (Enigie), religious and opinion leaders and the Edo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Johnson Kokumo.

The stakeholders also inaugurated the Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Council Vigilante to assist security personnel in fighting crime in the area.

Chairman of Ikpoba-Okha LGA, Dr. Eric Osayande, who spoke to journalists after the meeting, noted: “The Governor had given us a directive that we must call all the Odionwere, Enigie, Oka-Idun and other stakeholders to ask them to go back to the traditional methods of Vigilante.”

“We have recruited 70 Vigilante to complement the efforts of conventional security apparatus in the Local Government”, he said.

Addressing stakeholders at the meeting, Kokumo, conveyed the approval of the deployment of police constables who had their passing out parade on Saturday to the locality.

He said the operatives were drawn from the various communities in Ikpoba-Okha LGA and its environs, in addition to a joint patrol team, comprising the military, the Nigerian Army, operatives of Department of State Security (DSS), and Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC).

“I have also promised the Local Government Chairman that we are also going to have the police constables who had their passing out parade on Saturday here. They were drawn from the various communities.”

According to him, “There is a downward trend of crime and criminality in this community. We are living no stone unturned towards ensuring that we dominate the public space.

“We are having a joint patrol team, comprising the military, the Army, DSS and the NSCDC.”

The state police chief, Kokumo, warned that “never again will anybody attack any police personnel in Edo. Enough is enough”.

He stressed that: “We will no longer fold our arms or allow criminal elements to open fire on our men. Our personnel will use their arms professionally. We have a justification to use our firearms when a life is in danger.”

Total breakdown of law & order imminent as cult killings, kidnapping, armed robbery escalate in Benin

The security situation in Benin, the Edo capital, has taken a turn for the worse following a jump in cases of kidnapping, armed robbery and cult-related killings, NAN checks have revealed.

The upsurge in the crimes was first noticed since the #ENDSARS protests that led to the release of no fewer than 1900 from two Correctional Centres, burning of at least eight police stations and the looting of their armouries by hoodlums.

Night life in the capital city, in the meantime, has since ground to a halt as incidences of kidnappings and armed robbery have escalated.

NAN reports that while residents of the capital city were still reeling from the high crime rate, cult related killings, mostly linked to clashes between rival Vikings and Aye confraternities, have only heightened the fears of the residents in different parts of Benin.

The tally from the cult related killings indicated that no fewer than 30 people were killed within the past week, with three others similarly killed on Sunday by suspected cultists in the city.

Two of the bodies were discovered at Urohra Junction, one by pipeline junction in Eyaen, and on Saturday, two bodies were found around Uselu, while Evidence Street by Isihor accounted for three others.

Before then, several people lost their lives in different parts of the city, including Idogbo, Y-Junction, Nomayo, Three House all along Sokponba Road, Ogida Barracks, Siluko Road, Costain area in New Benin, Aduwawa near Oando filling station, Upper Mission, near Ewa Road junction, Cherubim and Seraphim area of Upper Mission.

Meanwhile, the police are soliciting for information from the public that would help them recover stolen arms and ammunition from the police stations that were looted, trashed or burnt in the state.

When contacted, the State Commissioner of Police, Mr Babatunde Kokumo, said the attack on police facilities, burning of police stations and patrol vehicles during the EndSARS protests, that turned violent, had affected their operations.

He, however, assured that the police will gradually resume work at their duty posts to check crime and criminality in the state.

According to him, in Upper Sokponba in Ikpoba-Okha axis, three police facilities were burnt down displacing the DPOs and other police officers in these divisions.

“These officers now report at the state command headquarters, we now send them on patrol from there so you should expect some hitches, but we will continue to work and get things right.

“The EndSARS protests, which were hijacked by hoodlums, has actually impacted negatively on police operations and unleashed attacks on police facilities’’, he said.

“How do you expect, where 200 inmates escaped, for things to be normal? Kokumo asked, saying, “We were doing our best to arrest the criminals in Edo before the jail break and we are equally trying our best now to see that the escapees are re-arrested and brought to book.

He urged the media to cooperate with and appreciate the efforts of the Police, especially now that they are expected to stem the tide of crime, whereas they lacked operational vehicles, arms and ammunition.

NAN

18 killed as cultists in Benin resume war, shoot police chief, 2 others

Tension has heightened in parts of Benin, the Edo State capital, and adjoining towns following the escalation of bloody clashes between rival Aye and Eiye cult groups in the state.

This is as an Assistant Commissioner of Police (APC) in charge of the Area Command Benin and two senior police officers were shot in the early hours of the day at the popular Murtala Muhammed (MM) Way close to Third East Circular road junction near Sakponba Road in the capital City.

Soldiers have been deployed to the troubled areas of Upper Sakponba, Idogbo, Three House Junction and adjoining locations where activities of the cultists have sent residents fleeing for their lives.

Also, between Monday and Friday 18 persons have reportedly been killed during the bloody clashes between the two rival groups.

In addition, the ugly situation came as economic and development experts converged on the Dennis Osadebay Avenue Government House Benin to fashion out ways for peaceful and sustainable indices towards a viable economic blue print for the ‘Heart Beat State’ in the oil rich South-South geo- political zone of the nation.

Speaker after speaker harped on the need for synergy with Governor Godwin Obaseki and his government to harness the huge cultural, tourism, agricultural, socio-economic and political potentials for a better future for teeming youths and other segments of the entire state.

It was not clear what may have sparked the latest killings across major towns and some local government areas in the South senatorial districts of the state.

Our Correspondent’s investigations revealed that one of the key actors of one of the rival cult confraternity was scheduled for burial yesterday, a development that attracted who is who in the confraternity.

However, the APC and two other officers were said to have shot moments the hoodlums sighted his team on rescue mission to the troubled MM Way, Upper Sakponba, Idogbo and Ugbekun areas considered as core den of the illegal groups.

Several people sustained gunshot injuries in the process.

Both the policemen and others injured were rushed to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital and other nearby hospitals for treatment.

The activities of the rival blood thirst cultists were said to have also taken its toll in Ekenwan Road, Siluko Road, Wire Road, Dumez Road, Textile Mill Road, New Benin Road, Ogida Quarters, Ogbe Quarters and Ibivwe Quarters of the City.

About 450 shops, five markets, banks, public and private schools were shut as at Friday morning.

Parents had to rush to the various schools to take their wards home moments the troubled atmosphere became charged with non-stop shootings.

New Telegraph

How IPOB Used #EndSARS To Attack Igbo Muslims- Mallam Okonkwo

The Director, Islamic Centre, School of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Anofia, Afikpo, Ebonyi State, Mallam Isa Friday Okonkwo, was a former Director of Administration of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA).

He told Daily Trust how the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) used the #EndSARS protests to attack Igbo Muslims at the centre and the region. He also spoke on how they were ‘caged’ at the centre for days at the height of the crisis.

Before the #EndSARS, let me take us back to 2017, when one of our brothers, who used to be a Muslim, and by name Muhammed Nbono, submitted the names of about 26 Muslims in Igbo land to the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as those sabotaging the interest of having their country and thereby marking them for death.

For over a year, there were threat calls coming to all of us from all over the world, from members of IPOB. But after some time, it stopped.

During the #EndSARS protests, the names were re-published on their Facebook pages and the calls resumed. Daily, we get up to three calls from strangers, threatening to destroy us. So, this is on one side. On the other side is this Islamic Centre in Afikpo, which is a unique Islamic school in the eastern part of the country and the whole country.

It has been in existence since around 1953 and it took a new shape in 1983 and from 1983 until date, it has always been graduating scholars from that part of the country.

It is also important to mention that in 2006, there was an attempt to bomb this place. They came and raided the place. Eventually, the destruction was not too much.

So, this time around, they send messages after messages that they will be coming to attack the Islamic Centre. So, all this while there were protests, we have been living in fear. I could be attacked as the person of Isa Okonkwo and the centre could be attacked as the Islamic Centre.

What was your experience during the #EndSARS protests?

We were under siege throughout the protests. We could not even go out. We were in the school with all the students and there were about 300 student boarders from different parts of the country. We could not move anywhere.

So, when the threat was getting too much, we attracted the attention of the IGP, the director of DSS and even later, the governor of the state. That was when we started to have security agencies coming to protect us in the school. So, we first had some policemen who came to stay with us in the school. Later, the GOC of 18 Division instructed the commanding officer of Nkwangu Cantonment and they sent about seven soldiers. So, both the police and seven soldiers are presently with us on the school premises, 24 hours of every day.

How then are the students and the teachers feeling coming to the school to study with policemen and soldiers around?

It was when we saw the policemen that we even felt comfortable to teach and learn. It was so horrible when they were not there. Let me tell you one shocking incident that happened. The chief of the village used to park his cars in the compound of this school because of the cordial relationship between us and the village. So, at a stage, the chief decided to remove his cars. So, I asked the driver, why the sudden removal. He said that the chief said that IPOB is going to attack any moment from now. And that they said that the director is the first they will make sure they eliminate, so, he didn’t want his cars to be damaged because they could mistake his cars for the director’s.

So, you did not receive any support from the people that you are living with as neighbours or did you think this was something beyond them?

When the chief of the village removed his vehicles from the school, we didn’t want to wait for anybody else to tell us it is the right time we looked for security, because from the chief’s statement, which I will later confirmed, it was obvious that the last man that was supposed to protect us is the one running from being attacked or being mistaken for the director.

How many Muslims are in the area and what is the population of all the people?

The village is over 30 per cent Muslim. I cannot say for sure what the population is, but for sure, I think it is the second-highest population of Muslims within a locality in Igboland. After Nsukka, the next is that village, Afikpo. I am talking of indigenous Muslims, who are the citizens of the area.

What are your plans now, considering that the protests have subsided but the tension is still there?

We have a kind of think tank from the Eastern part of the country as Muslims. I have presented this to them. I am one of them, we have a series of meetings on how to intervene.

We have written letters to the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), intimating them of our problems; we have written letters to the IG of Police, to the DG of DSS, the National Assembly. We have also written letters to all the five governors of the south-eastern region.

So, we are planning to address a press conference. But we don’t have the press here in the east. So, we were thinking of coming to Abuja to do that, to let people know how we are living. Because the Americans will always say that the Christians are being victimized in Nigeria. When, they are the ones dealing with every other part of this country, but nobody tells our story, nobody hears us even when we want to shout. So, we are planning to go out and do the shouting. I am one of those persons that used my contacts to reach out to so many places and they started narrating our case.

We also intend to write to the Ohanaeze Ndigbo that have always vilified the Muslims in the east, so they would note what is going on.

They close their eyes as if they don’t know what is going on. So, we also intend to officially write to them. We also intend to write CAN in the eastern part of the country. So that all this will be on the record. So, some of us are planning to have a congress of all the Igbo Muslims all over the world.

But because of fear, we would not want to have a congress where we could all be wiped out at a time. So, these are just some of the thoughts and activities we are having presently.

But IPOB wanted to establish a country for the Igbos and you are Igbo, why do you think they are attacking you then?

People are mistaken their antics. It is not a tribal war. It is a religious war. They claim they are using is that of Biafra and the main actors of the Biafran Civil War were majorly Christians from the north. People like Yakubu Gowon. Today Yakubu Gowon is a chief in the east with red carpet reception because he is a Christian. T. Y. Danjuma is a chief in the east with red carpet reception because he is a Christian. Now, we have never said we are in support of Biafra, or we are against it, so why must we be the first target? It is just because we are Muslims, nothing else.

*Now, the 26 names of the people they published to kill are all Muslims. They’ve never listed any pastor or reverend. What does that show you, it shows that if you are a Christian from the north, you are safe in the hands of Biafra; if you are Muslim from the east, you are unsafe in the hands of Biafra.*

What message do you have for the politicians and the leaders in the region who are the ones that are supposed to protect you?

Our message to the federal, state and local governments in the region is that we are citizens of Nigeria, we are not foreigners, it is just by the design of our creator that we decided to profess a faith in a country that has a Constitution, which states that everybody is free to choose their association. We have chosen Islam as our religion and Allah as our God and we feel strongly that we have not committed any crime by doing that. And they owe us the protection of our lives and properties.

Two students killed as cult groups fight for supremacy at Federal Poly Nekede

A renewed cult clash between two rival groups has claimed two lives at the Federal Polytechnic Nekede in Umudibia Autonomous Community, Owerri West Council Area of Imo State.

Jungle Journalist Media Limited learnt that gunmen suspected to be cult members shot dead an unidentified man at Federal Polytechnic Nekede junction on Wednesday, November 11.

The deceased was said to have been ambushed by the armed men at the junction around 9am.

It was further gathered that another unidentified person had been gunned down at the school’s back gate on Tuesday night, November 10, at 8 pm.

According to local vigilante personnel, the killings were a result of a clash between two cult groups who were on a revenge mission.

Spokesperson of the State Police Command, SP Orlando Ikeokwu, who confirmed the incident on Wednesday November 11, said that the Commissioner of Police, Issac Akinmoyede has ordered an investigation into the killings.

“We have collected the two corpses and deposited them in the mortuary while investigation has commenced. We believe it is a clash between two rival cult groups,” he said.

Islamic militants behead over 50 at football pitch in Mozambique, abduct women, several boys among victims

Militant Islamists beheaded more than 50 people in northern Mozambique, turning a football pitch in a village into an “execution ground”.

Decapitated and chopped bodies of victims were the latest in a series of gruesome attacks carried out by militants in the gas-rich Cabo Delgado province since 2017.

The attack is believed to be part of the growing wave of jihadist violence in Mozambique by extremists linked to ISIS.

According to BBC, who quoted state media, some (at least 15) of the victims were teenaged boys taking part in a male initiation ceremony. Reports by state-owned Mozambique News Agency also suggest that the gunmen chanted ‘Allahu Akbar’ as they raided Nanjaba village and abducted some of its women.

“Police learned of the massacre committed by the insurgents through reports of people who found corpses in the woods,” an officer in the Mueda district told BBC.

“It was possible to count 20 bodies spread over an area of about 500 metres (yards),” the officer added.

“These were young people who were at an initiation rite ceremony accompanied by their advisers.”

An aid worker in Mueda said some of the boys had come from that area, confirming the massacre.

The boys’ body parts had been sent to their families for burial on Tuesday.

“Funerals were held in an environment of great pain,’ said the worker. ‘The bodies were already decomposing and couldn’t be shown to those present.”