Posted by BusinessAfrica.net on
Nigerian police shot two schoolchildren, allegedly killing one of them, and three protesters yesterday as ethnic separatists began a stay-at-home protest calling for independence for the breakaway region of Biafra, activists and witnesses said.
ONITSHA - Nigerian police shot two schoolchildren, allegedly killing one of them, and three protesters yesterday as ethnic separatists began a stay-at-home protest calling for independence for the breakaway region of Biafra, activists and witnesses said.
Teachers at the Eastern Academy in the Upper Iweka district of Onitsha said that a teenage girl, Ogechi Okeke, had been hit by a stray round and taken to hospital with serious injuries.
Meanwhile, Uchenna Madu, spokesman for the banned Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (Massob), said:
"The latest information at our disposal is that a 15-year-old boy was shot dead by policemen from Awada police division in the city." Madu said he had also heard about the schoolgirl's shooting and added that three demonstrators were shot in the legs as they fled from police.
"This is barbaric and wicked of the Nigerian police. It is only in Nigeria that police who are paid with taxpayers' money will open fire on a defenceless crowd," he added.
A senior officer at Awada police station denied that anyone had been killed.
Earlier, police had fired tear gas to disperse groups of youths who had mounted burning barricades in the street in an attempt to enforce the two-day stay-at-home protest called by the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (Massob).
The force commander, Police Commissioner Felix Ogbaudu, denied that any live rounds had been fired, but police could be seen deployed in the street armed with assault rifles.
Most shops, banks, schools, offices and petrol stations obeyed the call for a strike, which was intended to protest the arrest of Massob leader Ralph Uwazurike and press Massob's demand for an independent homeland for the 40-million-strong ethnic Igbo people of southeast Nigeria.
These terms and conditions contain rules about posting comments. By submitting a comment, you are declaring that you agree with these rules:
Failure to comply with these rules may result in being banned from further commenting.
These terms and conditions are subject to change at any time and without notice.