Scores of youths from Amucha and several other communities in Orlu zone of Imo State have abandoned their homes following the ongoing heavy crackdown on suspected members of the separatist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), by Nigerian security forces.
Residents who fled Amucha community, Njaba Local Government Area in Orlu zone of Imo State told newsmen that there were heavy shootings in the community and many escaped death by a whisker
“They (security forces) came to the town unexpectedly. They were just shooting anyhow, and arresting youths from the streets that they are IPOB members and terrorists. I was almost killed and I had to escape into bush and stayed there for several hours before I ran away from Amucha. Same thing is happening in neighbouring villages”, Onwumere Augustine, who spoke from hiding said.
Another resident of the area-a student of Imo State University, who simply identified himself as Okafor Orji, expressed concern on the number of youths that are being targeted by government security forces as IPOB members, saying the community needs peace.
“It is not every youth in Amucha or other Orlu communities is IPOB member, even those that are IPOB members are agitating for freedom, so arresting or killing all of them is not the best solution to the problem,” Orji said.
IPOB spokesman said innocent youths are being targeted by security forces. The group said many nonmembers of IPOB have been arrested by security forces while their whereabouts remain unknown.
In a statement signed by the group’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, it called on the international community to prevail on the Nigerian government to stop the alleged “unabated secret abduction, torture, detention, and killing of our members and non-members.”