……Steer clear of Imo, group warns Kanu
From GEORGE ONYEJIUWA, OWERRI
Owerri, the Imo State capital, was virtually locked down, as the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) leader, Nnamdi Kanu addressed a mammoth crowd of supporters in the state.
This was even as youth groups and ex- militants in the state warned the IPOB leader to steer clear of the state.
While addressing pro – Biafra agitators at the Ware House junction, Kanu reiterated his resolve to die for the cause of Biafra.
“I will die installing Biafra. It is Biafra or nothing. I am in Owerri to continue with the message of Biafra. Nobody can stop us. We don’t want to restructure; it is either Biafra or nothing. We have said no to those pretending to be representing us. There is no hope in Nigeria; there can never be justice in Nigeria. Biafra has finally come to stay. Don’t be deceived, I told Ohanaeze that restructuring will fail, has it not failed today,” he queried.
Kanu restated his earlier threat that elections would no longer hold in the Southeast,
“There will not be an election in Biafra land in 2019. We are starting with Anambra State. We don’t want elections anymore. It is a referendum or nothing”.
Meanwhile, there was a massive deployment of heavily armed policemen, who were stationed at strategic junctions ostensibly to forestall any clash between supporters of IPOB and coalition of youth organisations, who had earlier occupied the Heroes Square, the original venue for the IPOB rally.
Speaking to newsmen, the National Coordinator of the One Nigeria Group, Comrade Azunna Andrew, said that they believe in the sovereignty of Nigeria and would never support secession.
“We believe in the sovereignty of the Nigerian nation and will never be part of any secession plan. We are in support of one Nigeria even in the face of seeming injustice. Anybody agitating for Biafra or any other thing has the right to do so, but it must be outside Imo State. No Biafra rally will hold in Imo State”.
Similarly, Emeka Igwe, coordinator of the Nigeria Youth Unity Group, said that the youth in the state and members of the group are in support of one united Nigeria.
He stressed: “We have not forgotten what our people suffered during the civil war and we are not ready for a repeat of that. We believe in the restructuring of the country and not secession. We are here to say that Imo State stands for one Nigeria”.
Ohimili Arinze, who spoke on behalf of the former militants, said that they believe in the unity of the country and would continue to support the state governor in his pursuit of a united Nigeria, adding: “We don’t want to hear anything like Biafra in Imo State, we are fully in support of one Nigeria and we will not allow any self-serving group to come and disrupt the peace we are enjoying in Imo State”.
Similarly, the Chairman Board of Trustee (BoT), Imo State Council of Youths, Comrade Jeff Nwoha, stressed that what was most important to oil producing communities in the state, was resource control and not Biafra.
“Our state governor has continued to preach the unity of the country and we are here to support him. We don’t believe in the agitation for Biafra, all we want is resource control. But we must commend the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration because we have never had it this good before,” he said (The Sun)