By Vincent Ujumadu, Festus Ahon, Nwabueze Okonkwo, Francis Igata, Dennis Agbo, Ugochukwu Alaribe, Chinedu Adonu & Ifunanya Ozougwu

ENUGU—The Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, yesterday, declared ‘war’ on the Federal Government to press for the unconditional release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and other Biafra agitators detained in various prisons nationwide and in diaspora.

A palpable anxiety pervades the firmament in South East states over the would-be clash between pro-Biafra groups of MASSOB, Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and security agencies following the sit-at-home order today, to protest the continued detention of their members.

Vanguard monitored the mood of the people within the metropolis and found out that many parents have decided to withdraw their wards from schools even as they were apprehensive of going to their various places of work.

There was copious presence of security personnel at strategic places within the metropolis in Enugu especially at the three-arms zone housing the Government House.

At the Okpara Square,a detachment of Mobile Policemen numbering over 200 were seen rehearsing crowd and combat techniques as early as 9.30AM. Unusual siren blaring police vehicles patrolled the streets intermittently while Police authorities had earlier assured the public of adequate safety,advising them to go about their lawful businesses.

‘War’ with FG
A statement signed and made available to Vanguard by MASSOB Leader,Uchenna Madu read: ”MASSOB in the spirit of Biafranism and brotherhood among Biafra agitators have declared full support for the call for civil disobedience against Nigeria state on the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and other Biafra agitators detained across Nigeria and in diaspora.

“In the spirit of collaboration and for Biafra sake, MASSOB will engage positively in every step, programme and activity that will draw Biafra closer to actualization. We shall continue to collaborate and partner with every positive move and steps that will effect the release of our comrades in different Nigerian prisons and detention camps.

“The call to stay at home which has been our recalling measure and steps for effective civil disobedience is totally voluntary. This exercise has always been the life wire of the Biafran struggle which boomed the potency and acceptability of the Biafra struggle. The request for closure of markets, public/ private motor parks, schools and other public business premises is voluntarily, not by force. It is a mark of respect and love for our fatherland. As a non-violent organization, Biafrans shall not be compelled, pressurised or forced to observe the stay at home exercise.

“MASSOB, IPOB and other pro-Biafra groups will not molest, compel or intimidate anybody to observe the stay-at-home exercise as all our members shall stay indoors. There shall be no physical demonstration, street march, procession or any other public functions tomorrow in Biafra land.

“The heavy presence of armed Nigeria Army, Mobile Police, DSS operatives, Navy, Civil Defence in major cities of Biafra land since yesterday are all signs of military jittery, fear and cowardice.

“The Nigerian security agents are complimenting and justifying the Biafra struggle. MASSOB is demanding the unconditional release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and others detained in Nigeria prisons. The Biafra struggle will continue to unfold more confusing nature to Nigeria state until they realize their fruitless efforts in the unjust detention of  Biafran Jews.

“No amount of security intimidation, mesmerization, killings, detention, oppression, incarceration, etc, will stop the will power of an indigenous people for self determination. MASSOB also condemns the brutalities, unlawful subjection and detention of Uchenna Inya (Abakiliki correspondent of  New Telegraph Newspaper) on the day of MASSOB anniversary, the use of force can never stop the inflow of the spirit of Biafra.”

Buhari fuelling agitation for Biafra—Prophet Nwoko

Meantime,controversial Spiritual leader and pro-Biafra activist, Prophet Anthony Nwoko has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of allegedly fuelling the agitation for the actualisation of the Biafran republic indirectly through his anti- Igbo polices and utterances.

Nwoko also took a swipe at fiery Catholic priest, Rev. Fr Ejike Mbaka for playing politics with his priestly works and asked him to relocate to Buhari’s home state of Katsina, so that he would have enough time to engage in “false prophecies” for the president.

Prophet Nwoko who had prophesied that President Buhari’s second coming would not bring any relief but misery to the nation spoke in an interview with newsmen in Enugu.
According to him, President Buhari was indirectly resurrecting Biafra through his policies and utterances.

Uncertainty in Delta, Anambra, Ebonyi

UNCERTAINTY prevailed yesterday in Anambra State following today’s sit-at-home order by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, to press home its demand for the release of its detained leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, with most people travelling out of their stations to beat whatever IPOB planned for today.

This came as the police in Anambra state warned those who planned to stage protest to retrace their steps to avoid what the state police command described as the likely ugly consequences.

There was unusual movement of people in the various motor parks in the state and the commercial vehicles did good business as large number of passengers travelled to the villages.

Some people seen at the Awka and Onitsha motor parks said they had engagements  on Saturday, including weddings and burials, adding that with the IPOB order, they had only yesterday to travel.

Meanwhile, in a statement entitled ‘Re: Protest Attempt to Cause Breach of Peace’ signed by the Police Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Nkeiruka Nwode, the police said its attention had been drawn to possible protest in the state and advised parents to warn their children and wards against being used in the process.

In Delta State, the Police Command has warned members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, to stay clear of the state, vowing to deal ruthlessly with any person or group of persons who attempt to cause the breach of peace for whatever reason in the state.

The police in a statement by its Public Relations Officer, PPRO, SP Celestina Kalu said: “Intelligence report reaching Delta State Police Command indicates that members of the out lawed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, planned to embark on a protest on  Friday, 23rd September, 2016 (today).

“The Command wishes to warn IPOB members to stay clear of Delta State as the state does not subscribe to such an agenda.”

In Ebonyi State, the Police is adamant over today’s sit-at-home protest being coordinated by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, across the world, to press home for release of their leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kalu.

When contacted on phone yesterday, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, in the state, George Okafor, refused to disclose to Vanguard what measures the police is taking to either thwart the protest or ensure there is no breach of law and order during the protest.

CD, Intersociety back IPOB, advise public to comply
But the Campaign for Democracy, CD and International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law, Intersociety, have expressed their solidarity to the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB over its planned sit-at-home protest scheduled for today in all parts of the Nigerian federation.

Both CD and Intersociety were of the view that both market leaders, civil servants and the entire business community should comply with IPOB’s request for everybody to remain indoors today since according to them, IPOB is appealing to their conscience and not using force moreso, as a result of the heavy presence of soldiers and other security forces drafted from major military formations in the country..

These were contained in a separate press statements issued yesterday by CD’s National Publicity Secretary, Dede Uzor A. Uzor and Intersociety’s Board of Trustees BoT Chairman, Comrade Emeka Umeagbalasi respectively.

Army, police beef up security in Aba
In Aba, Abia state, soldiers of the 144 Battalion Asa and the Aba Area Police Command, yesterday marched round the city in what they described as ‘operation show of force’ and assured residents and traders of protection of lives and properties.

Commanding Officer, 144 Battalion, Lt.Col. Umar Sidi warned members of the IPOB and MASSOB to give peace a chance, adding that the Army would deal with any group who breaches the peace of Aba and its environs.

IPOB and MASSOB  had urged  residents of Aba to stay at home  and comply with the directive to shut markets and business centres.

Meanwhile, markets and banks witnessed influx of buyers and customers ahead of the planned protest by Biafra agitators today.
Visits to the Ariaria, Ahia Ohuru, Eziukwu showed that residents enaged in panic buying while most branches of commercial banks beamed with customers.


Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.