65 Arrested at Pro-Trump Rally in Nigeria

Group claims 11 people killed by security forces
January 23, 2017 Updated: January 23, 2017

Police in Nigeria say they’ve arrested 65 people at a pro-Donald Trump rally on Friday in the southern city of Port Harcourt, according to media reports.

The rally was organized by pro-independence activists in the country’s southern part, AFP reported on Jan. 22.

“Some suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) … staged an unlawful protest in the Port Harcourt metropolis,” Rivers State’s deputy police chief Ahmed Magaji told the news agency. The march, he added, was not authorized, claiming it disturbed public order.

IFOB also claimed that Nigerian forces killed 11 people—which the Nigerian government denied, AP reported. Ugochukwu Chinweuba, a member of the group, said police and soldiers used live rounds and that “scores” were wounded in addition to the dead.

Nnamdi Omoni, a spokesman for Rivers state police, said the claim was false and that police only used tear gas.

“To the best of my knowledge, there was no casualty as the police merely employed minimal action, which involved the use of tear gas to disperse protesters,” he said.

“About 65 of them were arrested” on suspicion of belonging to the separatist IPOB, which is an activist group calling for the creation of an independent republic in Nigeria. They had the movement’s flag, an official said.

At least 1 million people were killed in the 1967-70 civil war that was started by Biafran secessionists.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.