About five soldiers were among security operatives killed in the orgy of violence reportedly perpetrated by members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra in Rivers State, it was gathered at the weekend.
The police earlier linked IPOB members hiding under the #EndSARS protest, to the attacks and destruction of the Police Area Command and police stations at Oyingbo Local Government Area.
The attackers reportedly killed three policemen in a bizarre manner cutting off the hand of one of the police operatives, that attempted to shoot at them.
Sources said they hacked the police Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) driver to death, burnt the second victim alive and stoned to death the third policeman.
They were said to have burnt over 15 police vehicles, a hospital and an Appeal Court complex located in Oyigbo
The circumstances surrounding the killings of the soldiers were unknown, a source wrote on his Facebook wall on Thursday said that he was at the Military Hospital in Port Harcourt when the corpses of the soldiers were brought into the facility.
The source, who spoke in confidence said: “I am at the military hospital in Port Harcourt and I can confirm that five soldiers were brought in dead two days ago (Wednesday).
” I witnessed a very short session when one of the captains instructed the soldiers on mannerism and how to talk to the people. However, people should not take their humanity for granted.
“They are hurting. They already have an instruction not to shoot and that instruction though fair can also hurt seeing that their brothers are being killed”.
The Spokeperson for 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Maj. Charles Ekeocha, however, said the matter had not been reported to his office.
But the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, in a statewide broadcast listed the killing of soldiers, policemen and wanton destruction of properties as part of the reasons why he reinforced the ban on the activities of IPOB in the state.
Wike in a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, also placed N50million bounty on one Stanley Mgbere said to be the leader of IPOB in the state.
Wike said no form of procession or agitation by the group or any of its affiliates would be allowed to take place in the State henceforth.
He said that the activities of the banned IPOB were not just dangerous to lives and property, but were also threats to the existential interest and aspirations of Rivers State and all her people.
He said: “Security agencies are hereby directed to stop any form of procession or agitation by IPOB in Rivers State or any part thereof and arrest and prosecute any person or group that identifies with the membership or activities of IPOB in the State.
“Government will issue an executive order to strengthen and ensure the effective enforcement of these measures.”
The governor promised to hold meetings with all leaders of youth groups and community development committees in the State on 26th October to take holistic measures to counter and stop all IPOB activities in the state;
“One Mr. Stanley Mgbere is hereby declared wanted for leading members of the banned IPOB to cause the recent violence and destruction of lives and property in Oyigbo Local Government Area; and a ransom of N50,000,000.00 will be given to any person with useful information that would lead to his arrest and prosecution,” he said.
He recall that since IPOB was classified as a terrorist organisation by the Federal High Court and subsequently proscribed in September 2017 by the Federal Government, the group had carried out intermittent processions in parts of Rivers State, especially in Oyigbo and some notorious suburbs in Port Harcourt Local Government Areas.