By Joe Akwarandu, Umuahia
Investigation revealed that the atmosphere in the church got charged when some of the IPOB members, who were also present, prevented a politician in the state from addressing the church.
Sources at the church said attempts by the presiding priest, Rev. Fr. Nathaniel Oyedike, to restore peace failed as members of the group joined in singing and chanting pro-IPOB songs which brought the service an abrupt end. It was gathered that the IPOB members insisted that they would rather have a referendum than being part of the 2019 elections in Abia and other states in the South-East.
They later made their way out of the church, damaging a Toyota Sienna Bus branded by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and bearing the picture of the incumbent senator representing Abia Central and former governor of the state, Senator Theodore Orji.
A source from the 14 Brigade confirmed that the pro-Biafra members were arrested by the troops of sub-sector Bravo in conjunction with police personnel that moved to the area to control the situation.
The source who did not want to be named said, “At the scene, it was reported that IPOB members were shouting ‘no elections in Biafra land’ and also attempted to beat the pastor, Rev. Fr. Nathaniel Oyedike. A vehicle and some chairs were reportedly damaged within the church premises”.