Unknown gunmen on Friday shot dead several people in the Ekwulobia area of Anambra State.
According to reports, some police officers were also shot dead after their patrol van was riddled with bullets by the gunmen.
Although the motive of the attack is not yet clear, the reports stated that the attack was sudden and a heavy shootout ensued.
The South-East has been plagued with insecurity over the past few months as gunmen with unknown identities have been clashing with security agencies leading to several deaths.
SaharaReporters had earlier reported that the Biafran National Guard, one of the groups agitating for the independence of Southeast Nigeria, declared war on the Nigerian government as it announced October 30, 2021, as the independence day of the region.
In videos obtained by SaharaReporters, some armed men who identified themselves as members of the Biafran National Guard were seen saying they were ready for war.
In one of the videos, a man could be heard saying, “The liberation of Biafra has just begun. Today is Day 2 of our glorious week. You can see Biafran National Guards are already on the ground and they are on the move to go and rescue the prisoners of conscience – Mrs Onyekachi Orji and the rest of them.
“This is Biafran National Guards, as you can see them, they are all on alert. You can see they are ready for war, war for the liberation of Biafra has just begun.”
The camera further showed armed men in about four SUVs fuelling their vehicles.
The man behind the camera then approached a man in one of the vehicles, identifying him as the Commander, Gen Innocent Orji.
“This is the commander, Gen Innocent Orji. Sir, can you tell us what is happening here?” he asked the commander.
Orji replied saying, “We want to tell them that Anambra election can never hold. We are going to declare the sovereignty of Biafra Nation.”
The unidentified man behind the camera continued, “This is our military. Biafran National Guards are in various vehicles, ready to go and free the prisoners of conscience that have been imprisoned for almost 15 years. You can see them filling their vehicles.
“Saturday, 30th of October is going to be the re-declaration of Biafra sovereignty.”
A second video suggests the man with the camera was in a vehicle and gunshots could be heard.
The voice said, “Biafran National Guards have just met some soldiers; the war has just begun.”
The armed men in the videos allegedly had a confrontation with men of the Nigerian Army, leading to the death of one of the BNG members.
Later on Thursday, the Director of Army Public Relations, Onyema Nwachukwu, in a statement confirmed the death of one of the gunmen.
According to the statement, the gunmen allegedly attacked troops’ location at Amaekpu in the Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State on Thursday, October 28, 2021.
He added: “The assailants, who were heavily armed and conveyed in several vehicles opened fire on the troops’ location, but were met with stiff resistance by the troops. In the encounter, the troops neutralized one gunman, while others abandoned their vehicles and retreated in disarray with gunshot wounds. The troops also recovered a pump-action gun, among others.
“While the criminals withdrew, having been overwhelmed, they were promptly intercepted at Eda by troops of Forward Operating Base Ohaozara in Ebonyi State. The troops recovered additional three vehicles and apprehended one of the gunmen.”
Meanwhile, the Biafran National Guard had vowed to hoist the Biafran Military Flag of Authority by May 30, 2021.
According to the group, the activity will signify the total takeover of Biafran territories, which they said would start from Anambra State.
The group also said it had banned the Nigerian flag from being hoisted or displayed in any part of the South-East, which they referred to as Biafran territory.