By Nwabueze Okonkwo
ONITSHA—IN what looks like a tradition, the 19th anniversary celebration of the Chief Ralph Uwazuruike-led Biafra Independence Movement, BIM, yesterday, turned bloody in Onitsha and environs as two BIM members were allegedly shot dead by the Police.
The celebration also led to the arrest of no fewer than 10 members of the movement, just as about 15 of them sustained various degrees of bullet wounds.
Reacting to the incident, the Ogbaru Regional Administrator of BIM, Amadi Ifeanyi, aka Ochiagha, told newsmen they were hoisting their flag at about 2a.m. yesterday morning at Upper Iweka axis in preparation for the anniversary when the Police stormed the place in three Hilux vans and opened fire on them which resulted in the instant death of two of their members.
According to the Regional Administrator, “they arrested 10 of us and over 15 got bullet wounds, even when they knew that we are a non-violent organisation struggling for a Biafran state.”
Amadi, who spoke through his Director of Finance in Ogbaru, Ezeaka Martins, demanded the release of the corpses of their members, even as he identified those killed as Innocent Okoye and Uche Ezinwanne.
Also speaking, Chuks Nnaedozie, the Ogbaru Director of Security, gave the names of those injured and hospitalised as Clifford Nwankwo, Ndubuisi Ikpeazu, Aloy Ibeh, and others yet to be identified.
In his reaction, the Regional administrator for Onitsha North, Christian Umeaka, added that one of his members has not been seen since he was arrested by the Police when he went to hoist the flag, adding that no amount of intimidation would stop them from struggling for a Biafran state.
Attempt to get the police to react to the allegation proved abortive as the DPO incharge of the area could not be reached.