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Renewed Agitation For Biafra: What Would Ojukwu Say If Alive Today- Nnanna Ijeoma

 

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Dim Odumegwu Chukwuemeka Ojukwu

By Nnanna Ijeoma (Former Special Assistant to Ojukwu)

Ever since the renewed quest for the restoration of Biafra and the intensification of the effort vis-a-vis the support it has generated amongst the Igbos, especially amongst the youths, a couple of my friends and associates who are aware that I worked for the Ikemba sometime in the 80s as his Special Assistant have asked me what I thought Ojukwu’s thoughts or reaction could have been, where he to be alive today and my answer have always been, I don’t know. And that’s the truth. Even though I worked for him and with him, especially on the book, “Because I was Involved”, which I compiled from a box full of old speeches and edited, I can’t in all honesty claim I knew him that well to be able to state most categorically and affirmatively what his thoughts and reaction would be, were he to here with us today and this is because he, the Ikemba was a very intense, serious and complicated man who was neither impulsive, imperious or prone to public outbursts in the expression of his views without a serious thought process.

Again it must be understood that during the period I worked for him, it was a relatively less tumultuous time in Nigeria even though the military was in power, hence any privileged insight I might have had regarding his mode of thought at the time does not give me any predictive powers to forecast or better still say what his views would be today regarding the present political environment in the country. Despite the fact that reading all those past speeches on different issues, most of which did not make their way to the book, except for a selected few, gave me a fairly good idea of his thinking and beliefs I am also aware that people change their views from previously held beliefs depending on changing circumstances. Notwithstanding all of the above, this much I can say based on my daily interactions, meetings and verbal exchanges with the Ikemba at the time. He, Ojukwu was very much an introvert as he was an extrovert. No doubt he was a man who spoke his mind without fear of being politically correct, he also was very mindful of the import and impact of his comments hence he chose his words carefully and expressed them unabashedly and unapologetically. However, in doing so, he did his best to react to the political impulses that emanated from the people. Impulses he always said any leader cannot afford to ignore. His views were always grounded in honesty, decency, and fairness. So if he were to be alive today, his opinion about the resurgent clamour for a Biafran nation would not be lacking in those qualities.

The Ikemba Nnewi, if alive today would probably describe the new demand for Biafra as an embodiment of a combustible combination of grievance, perceived inequalities, a lack of equity, justice, and gratuitous disrespect. This much he would acknowledge. Having known and experienced the vicissitudes of war, he would be against any talk or mention of war and may again probably have preferred the whole idea of restructuring and this is because, after his return from exile, he committed himself to the full reintegration of the Igbo nation into the Nigerian family. He believed in a peaceful and united Nigeria where no individual was denied his place in the affairs of the nation or relegated to a second-class citizen status. He possibly would have tried to be a bridge over troubled waters instead of further polluting the waters. He probably would have been a voice of political moderation, an ancient view which in our country today is seen with contempt by some and has become synonymous with weakness and acquiesce. But then again I may be wrong considering the present political environment since the election of this President. His lopsided and ethnically tinged appointments, the marauding herdsmen, the forced retirement of senior Igbo military officers, the eviction notice to the Igbos in the North, the divisive nature of our politics, etc etc. It is said that, “Behind every reasoned decision is a reason for deciding”, hence I cannot say what, if any of the aforementioned issues would have informed his decisions. But be that as it may, all I have done is to forecast a guess of what I think he would have done based on the much I knew of him and it is what it is, just a guess hence I’ve repeatedly used the words “probably ” and “possibly” interchangeably. There are other people who knew him far better and much longer than I did and I am sure if solicited for their opinions they would make a better guesswork than I’ve done

With regards to my views about the IPOB and their leader Nnamdi Kanu, all I can say is that no one individual did a better job in elevating his status and prominence than Buhari by detaining him for the length of time he did. This would remain among other political missteps one of his biggest blunders. He, the President should have learned from history that the imprisonment of the leader of any movement has not in any way dampened his or her following. Rather the reverse has been the case. They become more popular and reverent when released and also, on the other hand, they assume martyr status should they die in prison. I have no doubt Nnamdi Kanu took into consideration the risks and benefits of a possible incarceration when he decided to visit the country from London knowing he may be arrested. As he probably expected, Buhari and his band of novice advisers fell for it. Now the genie in the bottle has been let out and they can’t put it back in and neither are they willing to re-arrest him despite the many violations of his bail conditions. Would Mr Kanu be enjoying all this public adulation and following especially amongst the Igbo’s, should the Ikemba be alive today? I don’t think so, because even with his passing Ojukwu still remains the face of the Igbo people.

Now, is Nnamdi Kkanu a transformational figure? I guess to some extent, having by his efforts increased the political awareness of the Igbo’s regarding their place in Nigeria, to the extent that the Igbo’s do not trust many of their present self- proclaimed leaders, most of whom are political prostitutes and charlatans with little or no following. Does he have the political skills and resume to fully harness the abilities and commitment of the Igbo’s and indeed the South-South towards the goal of a Biafran nation? I doubt he does. Already he has made some ill-advised comments and continues to show some grandiose sense of self that might create some reservations in the minds of some. For me personally, I cringe each time I see pictures of some of his visitors bowing and prostrating before him as if in supplication before some higher authority or supreme- being. My feeling is that he should discourage such public show of servitude. When I read his comment calling on the Igbo’s to boycott the 2019 elections which have raised the ire of his detractors including those who believe in his mission, I regret that he has not learned one of the attributes of leadership, which is “the ability to avoid graduating your friends into enemies and your enemies into bitter foes’. With that singular comment, he has caused the Ohaneze Ndi Igbo” to come out with a public statement disavowing him. Some may believe the group has no political relevance, hence their public disavowal may be inconsequential. What it has done however is to galvanise those against the prospect of a Biafra by citing the statement by the group and in the process diminishing he, Nnamdi Kanu’s appeal.

For me, it was a manifestly, uninformed and ill-advised comment that has rallied his enemies against his cause. Yes, there is no doubt “Civil Disobedience ” as a political tactic has worked many times before after it was first made a tool of public disaffection by the late Mathama Gandhi of India, but then the late Indian leader had the entire country behind him irrespective of race or religion against British Colonial rule. The same cannot be said of Mr Kanu who is yet to pass the threshold of Igbo acceptability, not to mention our neighbours many of whom have publicly expressed their lack of enthusiasm for the Biafra project. I fear that there is an adolescent idea of masculinity that appeals to him, hence he does not make the right political calculations that will serve his cause well and the fact that the Igbo’s like the Aro’s from where I hail, prefer to be followed and not led. My purpose here is not to bash Mr Kanu or attempt to diminish his efforts hence I am offended when I see people trying to diminish what he has achieved or cast aspersions on him by lying about his efforts or motives. For me what he has done was to speak truth to power at a time some of our Igbo leaders have retreated to their comfort zones and intellectual silos while taking oaths of silence.

What he has done is to voice the frustrations of a voiceless Igbo majority and their demand for fairness and equity. To that extent, he has been God sent. As for a complete secession, I doubt its possibility and feasibility because of our fractiousness and inability to agree on any set purpose. Our neighbours don’t trust us and so far we have been unable to assuage their fears about us. My preference will be an intensified economic revitalization and industrialisation of the South East, turning it into an economic power zone in the country and then causing the rest of the country to not only to depend on us but also making us indispensable to other ethnic groups. We have the entrepreneurial spirit, manpower, and abilities and there is no limit to what we can achieve if we focus on that. As one Facebook commentator recently pointed out, the region of Bayern once wanted to break away from Germany. Today, Bayern is the industrial powerhouse of Germany and the rest of Germany cannot do without it. In my humble opinion, a true fiscal restructuring is a more- worthier goal to pursue now and if that fails to materialise, then we can consider the Biafra option. In so doing so we will be telling the rest of the nation that as much as we can dial back the Clock, we can wind it up again.

Now back to the Ikemba. If there is one thing I’ve learned in life, it is that “the only thing to expect is the unexpected”. As much as I am at a loss in saying what Ojukwu would have done today, were he to be alive, if there is one thing I am certain he would have disavowed, it would have been any idle talk about another civil war. He definitely would have fought for greater resource control by the states hence he was opposed to some living on the collective inheritance of others. He would have intensified his fight for the Igbo’s gaining a seat or seats at the table where national decisions are made and in the words of Shirley Chislom, the first African American who ran for the United States presidency, “and if there is no chair at the table give them a folding chair”. Despite the many misgivings in different parts of the country, he came back from exile in peace however disguised and he believed in the possible greatness of Nigeria if only we can set aside and ignore the demons inside us and in our leaders. But again, who am I? I might be completely wrong regarding what his thoughts about the clamour for a new Biafra will be today, but in today’s tumultuous times we wish he was still around. The Igbo’s could use his wise counsel and guidance.

(Nnanna Ijomah is a New York City-based Political Science lecturer and a former Special/Personal Assistant to the late Ikemba Nnewi, Chief Emeka Ojukwu.)

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IPOB Under Pressure To Dump Secession, Declares No Amount Of Pressure Will Work

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…It’s Biafra or death –Group

By ENYERIBE EJIOGU (Lagos) and Jeff Amechi Agbodo (Onitsha)

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has said that the leadership of the group has come under pressure to accept the decision of Igbo leaders to pursue a restructuring of the country rather than the quest for the restoration of Biafra.

IPOB, however, has declared that no amount of pressure and persuasion would change its resolve to push for the restoration of Biafra as being championed by its leader, Nnamdi Kanu.

The Media and Publicity Secretary of IPOB, Mr. Emma Powerful, who spoke to Sunday Sun said that under no circumstance would IPOB accept restructuring because the Aburi Accord was a form of restructuring, which the British Government advised the Hausa Fulani to reject in the aftermath of the crisis that arose in the country, following the Major Chukwuma Nzeogwu-led January 15, 1966 coup, which claimed the lives of prominent politicians including the then Prime Minister, Sir Tafawa Balewa, the Premier of the North, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Chief Ladoke Akintola as well as the July 29 counter-coup of the same year, led by young northern military officers, in which the then military head of state, Major-General Aguiyi Ironsi was gruesomely killed.

The counter-coup led the foundation for the widespread massacre of Igbo people in the North. It was in the bid to find a lasting solution that the then federal military government led by Lt. Colonel Yakubu Gowon, as he then was, and the then military governor of the defunct Eastern Region, Lt. Colonel Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu, as he then was, met in Ghana to negotiate the future of the country and thereafter arrived at the Aburi Accord, which would have enthroned a confederal structure in the political administration of Nigeria. Gowon and Ojukwu signed the agreement, but soon after Gowon set foot in Lagos, he dumped the Aburi Accord, on the instigation of the British government, which believed that implementation of the agreement would cripple its grand agenda to continue exerting political influence in the newly independent Nigeria. With the Aburi Accord stalemated, events quickly snowballed in a way that led to the Nigerian civil war, following Ojukwu’s declaration of the then Eastern Region as the Republic of Biafra, a name taken from the Bight of Biafra, which was later changed to the Bight of Benin by the Nigerian government. A three-year war that caused massive loss of Igbo lives as well as economic assets ensued in 1967 and ended in 1970 with the capitulation of Biafra.

In the light of the 1966-67 crisis, and not wanting to have a repeat of that, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, as well as other notable Igbo leaders, have been calling for the restructuring of the country as opposed to IPOB’s drive for the restoration of Biafra. Besides, a groundswell of support for restructuring has grown across the country from the South-west, South-south and the Middle Belt. Moreover, notable northern stakeholders like former vice-president, Atiku Abubakar and former military president, Ibrahim Babangida, have both endorsed restructuring.

Against this background, Igbo elders and the apex Igbo leadership group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, advised IPOB and other Biafra agitation groups to dump secession and adopt restructuring as their primary agenda for the country as it could be achieved with the support of other geopolitical zones through dialogue that would produce fundamental and relevant constitutional amendments without the break out of war, which a secession bid would entail.

The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, in a press release, explained why the majority of the Igbo prefer a restructuring of the country to total break up. Nwodo said that no ethnic group has more stake in the Nigeria Project than the Igbo and as such cannot consider a break up as a viable option. He said that there is no part of this country where Ndigbo have not invested their resources even without any corresponding investment in Igboland by people from other parts of the country.

While appreciating the circumstances that prompted the youth agitations under the MASSOB and IPOB platforms, Nwodo noted that the elders do not believe that leaving the country is a reasonable option at this time.

He said that the various segments of Igbo leadership comprising Ohanaeze leadership, governors, National Assembly members, traditional and religious leaders after deliberating on the situation when they met in Enugu came to the conclusion that the restructuring option offers Igbo the best way forward.

He said that restructuring would bring Nigeria to a level where every person regardless of tribe, religion or class would have a sense of belonging and in return give in their best for the development of the country.

Nwodo assured that the leadership of the apex body would carry along the youths of the region and ensure that the Ndigbo have a common and unified position on the way forward for them. “Equal partnership, equal ownership and level playing ground for all is the right way to go to bring out the best in our people and set the country on the path of growth and development,” he said.

In the same vein, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Chukwudi Ibegbu, graphically summarised the position of the apex Igbo group in a recent media report: “We want fiscal and structural restructuring. We want the implementation of the 2014 confab reports and more states and more local government areas in the South-East. We want equity, justice and fair-play. We want issues that lead to agitation to be addressed. We want the killing of our people in the North to be stopped.”

The former governor of Anambra State, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, who was at the 2014 Confab expressed the same thought when he spoke at a forum in Abuja: “We must go back to the ‘agreed Nigeria,’ that is, the structure of Nigeria, as agreed by the founding fathers— our heroes past. That ‘agreed Nigeria’ was a federal structure, with regions as federating units.

“Initially, there were three regions: Eastern, Western and Northern. The Midwestern region was created later, making four regions: three in the South, one in the North. Each region had its own constitution and operated fairly autonomously. The Federal Government handled issues universally agreed to be federal responsibilities, issues like external relations, currency, weights and measures, etc.

“There was fiscal federalism as the resources for running the Federal Government came, basically, from the federating units. Each region controlled its resources and grew at its own pace. The people owned their regions in the sense that people in the regions were, particularly, concerned about how their regions were run. That was mainly because the money spent in the regions was basically internally generated—contributed by the people of the regions, through taxation, other payments, etc.

“The main problem is that as the country is currently structured and run, the country is growing backwards, indeed, taking giant steps backwards.”

However, in explaining why IPOB would continue pursuing its agenda, Powerful said: “We are always misunderstood because people are not conversant with what IPOB is all about. We want to be free from Nigeria, not restructuring it.

“However, we have maintained our stance of Biafra or death, from which we cannot shift. Nigeria is irredeemable. The soldiers killed many of our people, buried them in mass graves without anybody saying anything and at the same time denied killing the innocent civilians in different locations. Since inception, we have never been involved in any form of crime but the government ordered the killing to suppress the people’s wish. That is a pointer that the Hausa Fulani ‘born-to-rule’ champions do not want anything from this region to come up.

“We, IPOB, have nothing to do with restructuring. Anybody or group of persons are entitled to their opinion but we want total freedom not just for Biafra but for every ethnic nationality in Nigeria because a lot of ethnic nationalities are being denied their rights by the same people who want to bury Biafrans but we said no to what they have done to our elders and fathers. This generation said we can’t allow such to continue unless they kill all of us in one day.

He spoke further: “We advise the elders not to go against the wish of the people because many have sacrificed their lives, to ensure that Biafra is restored. If they don’t know, we have crossed the Rubicon, there is no going back. They should not allow themselves to be seen as siding with the oppressors of poor masses. The IPOB agenda is ordained by the Most High God Almighty. Who can stand against the wish of God Almighty, Chukwu Okike Abiama? IPOB is moving with the direction of Almighty God in Heaven but those are myopic may not know or see it.”

“Every right thinking person must know that the time has come for Biafra to be free from Nigeria and history will be kind to those that recognise this moment and are able to seize it. We call on our Igbo leaders not to allow their old political loyalties and affiliations to becloud their sense of judgement because we are witnessing the tentative emergence of the new Biafra nation. They cannot serve the Hausa-Fulani interest in perpetuity. The time has come for them to remain strong and side with the people, otherwise, they will lose relevance forever in this contraption created by Lord Lugard.” (The Sun)

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Arewa Youths Explode Again, Urge UN To Label IPOB Terrorist Group |RN

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….Insist on referendum

From: FRED ITUA, Abuja

More than one month after issuing a quit notice to Nigerians of Igbo extraction to leave the North before October 1, 2017, Arewa youths, have again, called on the United Nations (UN) to pronounce Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist organisation.

Addressing newsmen in Abuja, on Thursday, the Arewa youths, who converged under the aegis of Coalition of Northern Groups, also called on the UN to intervene, by initiating processes for a peaceful referendum, saying that it was the only option to finally settle the Biafran issue.

In a letter addressed to the UN and dated 12th of July, 2017, the groups said since the end of the Nigerian Civil War, Igbo have intermittently continued to taunt and rebel against other parts of the country, by demanding to secede and form an independent country. (The Sun)

Details later…

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Obiano Responsible For Biafran Agitators’ Killings In Nkpor, IPOB Insists

Obiano-Condemns-killing1                Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano

Tony Okafor, Awka

The Indigenous People of Biafra on Tuesday said the Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, lied against its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, about his claim that its leader had exonerated him(Obiano) from the killings of some pro-Biafran agitators at Nkpor, near Onitsha in 2016.

The group insisted that the governor was allegedly culpable in the death of the victims.

It asked the governor or any of his aides to present the video where Kanu exonerated the governor of culpability in the killing.

A Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Mr James Eze, had a write up in some national dailies said that  Kanu had in a visit to a traditional ruler in the state absolved the governor of the allegation.

But in a statement in Awka by the Media and Publicity Secretary of IPOB, Emma Powerful, the group dissociated Kanu from what it called “the concocted story”  going the rounds.

The statement said, “We the members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, worldwide under the command and leadership of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu disassociate our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu from the purported and concocted rumours going the round the city that during his (Kanu’) visit to Eze Eri Eze Chukwu Emeka of Aguleri that he exonerated Chief Willie Obiano the Governor of Anambra State from the massacre of IPOB members and Biafrans at Nkpor on the 29th and 30th of May, 2016 during the remembrance day celebration.

“We want to make it categorically clear that the  IPOB leader did not exonerate Obiano but instead indicted him for not halting the massacre as the chief security officer of the state and also for reporting to the kangaroo Army Board of Enquiry that nobody was killed at Nkpor and Onitsha head bridge when there were innumerable eyewitness accounts backed up by video and pictorial evidence; the pieces of evidence were presented to the well recognised international human rights organisations in the world like Amnesty International and Human Right Watch etc.

“IPOB  is holding Governor Obiano responsible because of about 60  percent of those butchered and buried in mass graves…

“To put the record straight, we are aware that Governor Obiano did not kill anybody by himself or fired anybody with bullets but as the number one citizen and chief security officer of the state he is culpable for not rising up in time to stop the massacre of those that campaigned vigorously for him in 2014 rather he came up through his information commissioner condemned and tagged the innocent civilians who gathered to celebrate their fallen heroes and heroines during the war of genocide against the people of Biafra in 1967 and 1970 as miscreants and hoodlums who came to destroy the state, it is on record.”

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IPOB Adopts Lower Niger Congress Referendum Template For Restoration Of Biafra

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In another twist of fate, IPOB adopts the referendum template of Lower Niger Congress, a body that includes the whole of Biafra and Niger Delta region, for the restoration of Biafra.

Meanwhile, another group, reportedly sponsored by the political elites have created another group out of Niger Delta and called themselves RONDEL. LNC has been the legitimate representative of the entire people of Niger Delta region, which also includes the region covering the Biafra. They have been

LNC has been the legitimate representative of the entire people of Niger Delta region, which also includes the region covering the Biafra. They have been represented in UN on several occasions on issues bordering on self-determination and others.

 

Press Release

IPOB ADOPTS THE REFERENDUM TEMPLATE OF LOWER NIGER CONGRESS FOR THE RESTORATION OF THE NATION OF BIAFRA

The Directorate of State (DOS) of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is glad to announce that it has adopted the Referendum Template of the Lower Niger Congress (LNC). As one of the pro-Biafra organisations, IPOB wishes to state that the LNC Referendum Template is the surest way to guarantee a non-violent and transparent strategy for the nation of Biafra to get out of the British-created contraption called Nigeria. The LNC Template basically consists of a two-pronged process of countrywide de-legitimization and repudiation of the fraudulent Nigerian Constitution leading to the dismantling of the present pseudo-federation and the willful aggregation of independent units of regionally-willing and compatible contiguities. These compatible contiguities, which include the prospective federation of the various indigenous peoples of the Lower Niger, shall emerge via Referendum in the exercise of their Right to Self-Determination as successor-states to the defunct Federation of Nigeria, which collapsed since 1966.

In simple terms, the LNC Referendum Template will result in the formation of an independent coalition platform which will be used to approach the United Nations (UN) to mandate and supervise a Referendum on Self-Determination.

The DOS can confirm that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has also adopted the LNC Referendum Template. At a meeting with members of Nzuko Umunna which held in Kuje Prisons at Abuja on the 28th of February 2017, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu openly admitted to the meeting attendants that the LNC Referendum Template is the surest way to the restoration of Biafra. The attendants at that meeting include Prof. Pat Utomi, Prof. Charles Soludo, Dr Udenta Udenta, Dr. Innocent Chukwuma, and Mr. Lawrence Mefor, to mention but a few.
In addition, during his speech at a Shabbat service organised in his country home at Isiama Afaraukwu Ibeku on May 27, 2017, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu reiterated his position on the inevitability of a UN-mandated and supervised Referendum on Biafra as the only option and route to a peaceful exit of Biafra from Nigeria. The DOS agrees with him, knowing fully well that he will never waver on this avowed positive disposition to the UN-managed and supervised Referendum on Biafra.

The DOS is also aware that the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) led by Comrade Uchenna Madu has publicly declared its support for the LNC Template on Referendum. The Sun Newspaper of Sunday, 4th of June 2017, reported that MASSOB has fully adopted the LNC Template on Referendum. Furthermore, MASSOB indicated its support for the formation of a coalition of pro-Biafra organisations because MASSOB believes, and rightly so, that no single group will be able to achieve Biafra restoration without the cooperation and collaboration of other groups. The DOS is in agreement with the assertions of MASSOB and is working assiduously to get other pro-Biafra organisations to coalesce and use a coalition platform to approach the UN for a Referendum on Biafra’s exit from Nigeria.

The DOS uses this opportunity to call on other pro-Biafra organisations to embrace the LNC Template on Referendum and to begin to put machinery in place for the formation of the much-needed coalition platform. Together, we shall achieve the restoration of the nation of Biafra through the peaceful path of UN-mandated and supervised Referendum that will usher in the new nation of Biafra. Let us coalesce, participate, and activate the Referendum process for the restoration of the nation of Biafra. Together, we shall be victorious.

Long live Biafrans and long live the nation of Biafra!!!

Signed
Barrister Emma Nmezu
Dr. Clifford Chukwuemeka Iroanya
Spokespersons for IPOB

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BIAFRA: South East, South South Shut Down |The Republican News

 Residents obey sit-at-home order; banks, markets, schools closed

By Our Reporters

Yesterday’s sit-at-home order by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in commemoration of the 50 years anniversary of the declaration of the state of Biafra recorded huge success in virtually all the South East states and in some parts of South-South.

Our correspondents reported that commercial activities were paralysed in major cities in Abia, Anambra, Imo, Enugu and Bayelsa states. However, the sit-at-home order was said to have recorded partial compliance in Ebonyi State.

In Onitsha, the commercial hub of Anambra State,  there was no human and vehicular movements as markets, schools, banks, parks and filling stations were closed as residents and traders remained indoors in total compliance with the sit-at-home order.

However, police helicopter kept hovering in the air within the city of Onitsha while Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) were stationed at strategic places at Bridgehead, Nkpor Junction and (Dennis Memorial Grammar School) DMGS Junction to ensure there was no breakdown of law and order during the exercise.

Some residents, traders and members of IPOB gathered, singing and chanting solidarity songs to the admiration of observers and foreign media who spoke with some of them.

Kanu weeps at Nkpor

On Sunday night, leader of IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, broke down and wept at Nkpor, Idemili North Local Government, Area, Anambra State when he visited St. Edmund’s Catholic Church/Primary School where hundreds of Biafrans were allegedly murdered by Nigerian military and security operatives on May 30, 2016.

Kanu arrived the site at about 5:30pm and prayed to God Almighty (Chukwu Okike Abiama) for their souls to keep on fighting for the restoration of Biafra, which was the main reason they lost their lives.

Yesterday, the popular and ever busy Upper Iweka looked like a ghost town while major roads in Onitsha were virtually deserted.

In Imo State, there was  total paralysis of commercial activities in Owerri, state capital, as major markets, schools, commercial banks and shopping malls shut their doors to customers in compliance with the sit-at-home order by IPOB.

Similarly, there was no vehicular movement, as major roads of Owerri like Bank, Tetlow, MCC, Okigwe and Douglas roads were deserted. Few passengers  who were on transit were stranded. Owerri residents complied with the order as they remained indoors while major markets, including Ekeukwu along Douglas road and Relief  along Egbu road, Shoprite, Everyday Super markets, commercial banks, schools and motor parks were shut down.

Mrs. Oluchi Uchenwa said she arrived Owerri as early as 7:00am to travel to Port Harcourt, but could not get a vehicle due to the sit-at-home order by IPOB.

At the state secretariat, some of the civil servants who reported to work said they did so because of the threat of sack from the state government.

In Umuahia, Abia State capital, there was compliance to the order from morning till about noon, before vehicular and human movements started gradually.

Most of the shops, offices and markets did not open for business as usual as only few people were seen moving  about.

The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Leye Oyebade, was seen patrolling Umuahia with an entourage of about seven vehicles, apparently to forestall possible breakdown of law and order.

The management of private schools in the city had sent text messages to their students not to come to school yesterday in order not to attract the wrath of the Biafra agitators.

Banks did not open for business until about 12noon when customers were admitted through back doors. Shops were half open for those who could risk it.

Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State, was literally shut down yesterday as economic and business activities were totally paralysed.

Major markets, including Ariaria, Cemetery, Ahia Ohuru (New Market), Shopping Centre, Asa Nnetu Spare parts market and Ehere, among others were all closed.

Government offices in Aba north, Aba south, Osisioma and Obingwa Local Government headquarters were all closed as workers stayed at home, while there was no life in several motor parks across the city in total compliance of the sit-at-home order.

In Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital and its environs, business activities were paralysed yesterday following the order.

Daily Sun checks showed all  business outfits and locations owned by Igbo traders and supporters of Biafra struggle were not opened,  even at the time of filing the report.

Also,  traffic jam,  which Port Harcourt is known for on major routes like Ikwerre and Aba roads disappeared. Passengers struggled to get vehicles to continue their journey.

Banks also experienced low patronage as a result of the Biafra sit-at-home order.

In Delta, some business outfits, including markets were shut yesterday in Asaba, state capital in partial compliance of the sit-at-home order.

Some of the owners of small scale business outfits and shops within the popular Ogbogonogo Market, Daily Sun gathered, decided not to open for business for fear of being molested by Biafra agitators.

However, areas considered as strongholds of Biafra settlers, including Omeligboma, Abraka, Okwe, Osadennis Way and others were completely shut as residents observed the directive issued by IPOB.

Regardless, IPOB, yesterday claimed that over 76 countries observed and participated in the peaceful march to honour Biafran fallen heroes who died during the civil war between 1967 and 1970 and otherswho died in the struggle.

The group, however, congratulated Biafrans and all IPOB family members worldwide, for their compliance with the order issued by its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

A statement by IPOB’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Mr. Emma Powerful, said: “Biafrans have proven to the entire world that they need freedom and the world must know that we are not going back in the quest for independence of Biafra.”

Referendum’ll be a walk over –MASSOB

Leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Uchenna Madu, said the huge success recorded in yesterday’s sit-at-home call would make the coming Biafra referendum a walk over against Nigeria.

In a statement of appreciation to the people of Biafra, Madu said the success had also shown the difference between Chief Ralph Uwazurike’s Biafra Independent Movement (BIM) and other pro Biafra groups, including MASSOB and IPOB.

He said: “The huge success is an express evidence that the coming Biafra referendum shall be a walk over against Nigeria.

“It is an indication to international communities that Biafrans are ever willing to stay on their own. MASSOB is not against Nigeria’s existence; Biafra nation can as well exist as a sister nation with Nigeria like any other African country.

“The success achieved today is not a selfish pride for Nnamdi Kanu-led IPOB or Uchenna Madu-led MASSOB or any other group, it is an honour for the people of Biafra, it is an honour for the gallant and eloquent soldiers of Biafra and civilians that bravely laid down their lives for establishment of Republic of Biafra, it is an honour for Biafra school children, an honour to commercial cyclists, tricycles, buses and other vehicle operators, it is an honour to the cooperate firms/establishments that complied with the sit-at-home exercise.”

Reps warns security agents against use of maximum force

Yesterday, the House of Representatives adopted a motion, urging the military and other security agencies to refrain from using maximum force in the South East  and South South, where members of  IPOB ordered a sit-at-home yesterday.

This was sequel to a motion moved by Obinna Chidoka, under Matter of Urgent Public Importance,  at yesterday’s plenary on the need to urge security agencies  deployed to the area to exercise caution in discharging their duties.

Chidoka,  in his lead debate,  said the motion was necessary to avoid a repeat of bloodshed that occurred last year at Nkpor in Anambra State,  when security agents clashed  with residents of the area during the sit-at-home order by IPOB .

He said since that unfortunate killings, there has been tension in the South-East and South South.

Chidoka, who argued that the motion borders on the unity of the country, said it is imperative for security agencies to exercise maximum caution and discipline even in the face of provocation,   especially as yesterday  also doubled as the 50th anniversary of the declaration of the defunct Eastern  region as an independent state of Biafra.

Meanwhile, IPOB leader, Kanu has thanked Biafrans for obeying the order. He said yesterday’s event showed that the people are one in the struggle.

This was even as the director of Radio Biafra lambasted the founder of MASSOB/BIM, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, for what he described as the latter’s fruitless efforts to sabotage the order.

Speaking through his younger brother, Prince Emmanuel Kanu, from their Afara Ukwu, Umuahia base, the IPOB leader said it was heart warming to note that the sit-at-home order was obeyed beyond his imagination.

He said: “Nnamdi Kanu has sacrificed all he has for the struggle, and by compliance to the sit-at-home order, it means the people are totally in support of what he is doing, and I don’t think he will go back since he has received this type of support.”     (The Sun)

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BIAFRA: Tension In Enugu Over Sit-At-Home Protest, SARS Officers Get Ready

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                                                           IPOB
Ihuoma Chiedozie, Enugu

There was tension in Enugu, and other major cities in the South-East, on Monday, over the sit-at-home protest planned by pro-Biafra agitators to mark the Biafra Day on May 30.

Pro-Biafra groups, the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, and the Indigenous People of Biafra, have ordered the closure of markets, and restriction of movement, to honour the memory of Biafra war heroes, and slain activists.

However, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has directed the Commissioners of Police to place their men and equipment on red alert to deal “decisively” with the Biafra agitators.

Our correspondent observed the deployment of anti-riot policemen at strategic locations in Enugu on Monday evening.

Combat ready police teams were cited around major markets in the metropolis, as well as the federal and state civil service secretariats.

In the same vein, the Enugu State Police Command, on Monday evening, said it would deal decisively with anybody or group that attempts to stop people from going about their normal activities.

The spokesman, Enugu State Police Command, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu, who gave the warning in a statement, said the police is working with other security agencies to forestall the breakdown of law and order.

“Ahead of the planned sit-at-home order being circulated by IPOB, MASSOB, amongst others, the Enugu State Command of the Nigeria Police Force has advised members of the public to disregard such order and go about their normal lawful business.

“The Command is also advising law-abiding members of the public to watch out for any person or group of persons under any guise who will come to intimidate, threaten or force them to shut down their offices or shops and report such threat to any nearby police station.

“The Command in partnership with other sister security agencies and relevant bodies have put in place adequate machinery as security apparatus have been mobilized to fish out those in this habit and bring them to book.

“The Command has advised those intending to carry out this unpatriotic and unlawful act to change from this, as the Command working in partnership with other sister agencies in the state, will not sit and fold its arms and see innocent and law-abiding citizens of the state being molested or threatened by any person or group of persons,” Amaraizu said in the statement.

The police spokesman also released phone numbers, and social media platforms, through which members of the public could reach the Command to report any breach of law and order on May 30.   (Punchng.com)

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