Over seven thousands of members of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), yesterday, November 30, took to the streets to protest for the release of Nnamdi Kanu, the director of Radio Biafra.
The protesters mobilised from Onitsha, Asaba, Awka, Ekwulobia, Awka-Etiti, Enugu, Imo, Ebonyi and Abia states shut down markets and all commercial activities in Nnewi, Anambra state, Vanguard reports.
Kanu has been in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) since November.
Members of IPOB marched to the house of the late Ikemba Nnewi, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu to ask for his blessing even in death.
The protesters moved from St. Mary Junction to Nkwo Nnewi market, down to the express way leading to Nnewi Area Command, through Odumegwu Ojukwu’s residence to Owerri Road, Nkwo Nnewi Triangle and later headed for Awka-Etiti through Nnobi.
They carried placards which had inscriptions as ‘Free Nnamdi Kanu,’ ‘Free Biafra,’ ‘No Biafra, no peace,’ ‘We want Biafra now,’ ‘Biafra now or never.’
According to Emeka Onwane, one of the commanders, the protest was a warning signal to the federal government to make sure that Kanu, who is scheduled to appear in court today, is released without further delay.
He said the protest would last for three days and if Kanu is not released, there won’t be peace in Nigeria.
“IPOB is looking up to the international community including the United States, Russia, France and every other countries excluding Britain which is the enemy of Biafra. We are not talking about Igbo presidency; we are talking about an independent nation of Biafra. So, we are looking up to world leaders to help us actualize Biafra,” he said.
Members of the group in Aba, Abia state has warned traders across markets not to open for business today.
Some traders condemned the order and appealed to the IPOB members to allow the markets open but some under the aegis of South-East Amalgamated Markets Traders Association (SEAMATA), said they were in total support of the pro-Biafra groups but condemned the invasion of markets by the agitators.
“To set the record straight and for the purpose of clarity, the traders are not challenging the constitutional right of peaceful assembly of any one. We only condemn the attitude of the protesters (or miscreants that infiltrated them) that went into markets, chased the traders out and closed the entrances to the market,” Chief Okwudili Ezenwankwo, president-general of SEAMATA said.
However, a constitutional lawyer and leader of eminent group of Nigerians, The Patriots, Professor Ben Nwabueze (SAN), admonished the groups to have a re-think over their renewed calls for the state of Biafra.