A pro-Biafra group, IPOB, has said that the flying of a military helicopter over the Orlu community in Imo State on Wednesday was a “declaration of war against the Igbos.”
A video posted on Twitter showed the helicopter flying at low level, while a voice from the background is heard laughing over it.
“What is happening in Nigeria?” the voice from the background is heard saying, in the clip.
Jeff Ojinika, a former member of the House of Representatives, told PREMIUM TIMES, Thursday afternoon, he got a distress call around 6 p.m. on Wednesday about “two military helicopters carrying out aerial bombardment” in some communities situated between Imo and Anambra States.
Mr Ojinika had represented Orlu in the House of Representatives.
“People were running, women, and children. There was crying everywhere,” said Mr Ojinika who spoke from outside Imo State.
PREMIUM TIMES has not come by any evidence to show that the military helicopters fired at the people.
Apart from saying in its statement, Thursday, that “the Nigerian government has activated its final solution to the Biafran question with the helicopter gunship in Orlu,” IPOB did not say the helicopter opened fire on the people.
IPOB said the government has “crossed the line of no return” and that the only option left for the Igbos was to defend their “ancestral land.”
The statement was signed by Chika Edoziem, the head of IPOB’s directorate of state.
The police spokesperson in Imo State, Ikeokwu Orlando, however, said the police were not aware of any military operation in the state.
The Commissioner of Information in the state, Declan Emelumba, said there was no military operation in the state.
“There was air surveillance somewhere around yesterday or so,” Mr Emelumba told PREMIUM TIMES, Thursday afternoon. “It wasn’t even in the Orlu area, it was in a neighbouring local government to Orlu, but it was basically in Anambra.”
IPOB, which enjoys great following in the South-east, has been agitating for an independent state of Biafra, and has frequently clashed with security agencies, including the Nigerian Army.
Orlu made headlines in January when the Nigerian Army staged an operation in the area after a reported clash with members of the Eastern Security Network, a security arm of IPOB.
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