Ihuoma Chiedozie and Gibson Achonu
Economic activities within Owerri were on Monday paralysed by the splinter group of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereignty State of Biafra, who stormed the major roads and streets of the city in celebration of Biafra Independence Day.
The protesters, who arrived in buses from the 27 local government areas of the state with flags and placards bearing various inscriptions, depicting commitment to Biafra, wore military uniforms and chanted Biafra songs.
The protesters comprising of men, women and youths, arrived the busy Douglas Road by 8am from where they moved to the popular Ama JK Junction, Wetheral Road, Tetlow Road, Royce Road and Bank Road.
Acknowledging cheers from supporters, who incessantly shouted, “On Biafra we stand!”, the protesters defied the scorching early morning sun as they proceeded to the Maria Assumpta Roundabout, popularly called Control-Post, where they later assembled.
Armed policemen who were closely watching the agitators did not stop or harass the protesters ostensibly because it was non-violent.
In a telephone chat with our correspondent, the leader of the Biafra Independent Movement, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, said that the march was organised to prove his commitment to the actualisation of the Biafran project.
He said, “I challenge anybody who claims to be of a higher command and authority than myself in the struggle to actualise Biafra to come out and prove his mettle. Of course, nobody, group, or association can do this because they lack the capacity and membership to do so.”
Uwazuruike, who expressed satisfaction with the peaceful protest, said he was optimistic that the Biafran project would eventually be realised in no distant time.
Meanwhile, more than 40 pro-Biafra activists were arrested by the police while holding a rally to commemorate ‘Biafra Day’ in Enugu, on Monday.
Forty-seven were arrested in Cross River and 50 were nabbed in Ebonyi.
The arrested activists in Enugu were members of the Biafra Independence Movement, a group led by Uwazuruike, a former leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra.
Major pro-Biafra groups, MASSOB and the Indigenous People of Biafra, celebrate ‘Biafra Day’ on May 30, but BIM commemorates the defunct Biafra nation on May 22. (Punchng.com)