Reports in a section of the media that policemen shot and killed pro-Biafra protesters in some southeastern parts of the country has been dismissed as false by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Solomon Arase.
A statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Olabisi Kolawole, described as untrue, several false posts on Facebook and other social media, accusing police of shooting, maiming and even killing members of the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The police image maker noted that the group has taken their protests to the streets, markets and other public places in some eastern states, infringing on the rights and freedom of innocent citizens, who were ordinarily going about their lawful businesses.
“Despite provocation, the Police have maintained and managed the situation with high sense of responsibility and professionalism”, ACP Kolawole explained in the statement Thursday.
She stressed that Mr. Arase is conscious of the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association amongst others as enshrined in Chapter Four of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended), and cannot afford to maim or kill citizens exercising these rights.
Kolawole said the IGP called on all law-abiding citizens to disregard the allegations by the groups, describing them as false and calculated attempt to attract undue attention and sympathy.
“The IGP, called on the leadership of Ohanaeze to wade into these superfluous protests to save the law-abiding and innocent citizens in the affected states from the hardship being melted out by the groups”, Kolawole added.