IPOB members want to leave Nigeria
The agitating members of a pro-Biafra movement have stated that they want to leave Nigeria. They said that they are tired of this “forced marriage” imposed on Nigeria, which unfortunately includes the geographical area they claim as Biafran territory.
Photo above: Nnamdi Kanu speaking to IPOB supporters somewhere – prior to his arrest, after he flew in from London last month.
In the course of this story (in subsequent reports) which I am sure will dominate national discourse in Nigeria, I shall elucidate more on this “Biafran territory” – as claimed by these pro-Biafra supporters.
Pro-Biafra protesters cry out
Thousands of protesters took to the streets in southeast Nigeria on Wednesday to demand the release of an activist who operated an illegal radio station calling for a separate state of Biafra.
The demonstration in Aba was the latest by separatist groups on an issue that has again exposed deep and longstanding ethnic fault lines in Africa’s most populous nation.
A previous unilateral declaration of an independent Republic of Biafra in 1967 led to an internecine civil war that left more than one million dead in two and a half years of fighting.
In Aba, the commercial hub of Abia state, some 2,000 people carried placards with slogans such as “Biafra or death” and waved the Biafran flag — a golden rising sun on red, black and green.
Others wore t-shirts and caps with the image of Nnamdi Kanu, the director of Radio Biafra and founder of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) pressure group.
There are differences in the manner IPOB emerged. Some claim it is an offshoot of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra ( MASSOB). Others claim that it metamorphosed from the penchant and zeal of the Radio Biafra director, Nnamdi Kanu, and people of like-minds with him.
Radio Biafra was taken off air in July this year after the Nigerian government accused it of being a “seditious pirate radio station” which broadcast “unsavory hate messages”.
Kanu was arrested last month as he stepped into Nigeria in Lagos and charged with criminal conspiracy, membership of an unlawful society and criminal intimidation.
A judge in Abuja on Wednesday ordered Nigeria’s secret police (State Security Services, SSS) to produce him in court next Monday. At the court appearance on Wednesday there was drama as two lawyers each claimed to represent Nnamdi Kanu. One told the judge that he has Kanu’s father’s authority and the other said he had Kanu’s mother’s authority – each to defend Kanu.
Tension has been building since Kanu’s detention, culminating in mostly peaceful protests and demonstrations in major southeastern cities and impending fears of a military crackdown against pro-Biafra protesters.
My take on all these is that they will be no let up on these growing agitations, protests and demonstrations if Nnamdi Kanu is still incarcerated by the Nigerian secret police.
My name is Nnamdi Ebo
This is my first report.