Multiple social media users, especially on WhatsApp and Facebook, have shared a video on July 4, 2023, that shows gunmen dressed in red shooting sporadically in a market. The gunmen were each adorned in red regalias and apparently arrived the scene in a brown Sienna car as they randomly shot at individuals on the street.
‘It’s happening live. It’s in Ebonyi Abakaliki Ishieke market. Burn everything. I don’t want anything to remain. Destroy them. Destroy everything. Sit at home. Nnmadi Kanu must be released. No Nnamdi Kanu, no peace,’ the voice in the video was heard saying.
The sit-at-home order was first issued by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in August 2021, which involves a total shutdown of economic and social activities every Monday in the south-eastern part of Nigeria. According to the group, the sit-at-home protest will be observed weekly to demand the freedom of its incarcerated leader, Nnamdi Kanu, who has been in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
Mr. Kanu is standing trial on alleged terrorism at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
However, IPOB later suspended the order in preference for the sit at home to be implemented only on the days Mr Kanu appears in court.
Despite the suspension, residents of the South-east states have been observing the Monday sit-at-home order. Recently, residents in some states have tried to defy the order by going about their business.
On June 14 2023, Finland-based Simon Ekpa, leader of Autopilot (a faction of IPOB), issued a statement which declared a five-day sit-at-home order in the south eastern part of Nigeria. Ekpa stated that the order would hold from 3 to 5 July and continue from 7 to 10 July.
He stated that the proposed civil action was to demand the “immediate and unconditional release” of Mr Kanu, who is currently detained by Nigeria’s secret police, the State Security Service.
However, IPOB later denied this order through its spokesperson, Emma Powerful, who asserted that the sit-at-home declaration did not emanate from the group.
“IPOB did not declare the infamous sit-at-home. Those doing that (declaring the sit-at-home) are criminals who want to use Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s name and IPOB to perpetrate criminalities in the South-eastern states, but it won’t work for them,” he said.
The CDD War Room can confirm that the video emanated from Abakaliki, Ebonyi state. The video was not doctored and investigations proved that it first surfaced online on July 4, 2023.
However, it’s not certain whether the gunmen are members of IPOB, or otherwise.
IPOB is yet to claim responsibility or deny the activities of the gunmen.
The claim that gunmen attacked and shot at a market place in Abakaliki, Ebonyi state, on July 4, 2023 is true. CDD war room can confirm that the video first emanated on the internet on July 4, 2023. Credible media agencies have also confirmed the veracity of the incident.