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How Biafra Day was celebrated in Onitsha, Nnewi, Anam

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Biafra Day: FG must investigate May 2016 killings of Biafra day protesters — AI
Colonel Odumegwu Emeka Ojukwu, the leader of the breakaway Republic of Biafra, stands in front of a Biafra flag as he addresses a press conference in Enugu, August 16, 1967.

…We must continue to celebrate Biafra— Igbo group

By Emma Nnadozie, Anayo Okoli & Chimaobi Nwaiwu

Victims of the bloody killings in Nkpor, Anambra  State,  in which over  60  pro-Biafra protesters were killed and at least 100 injured by Nigerian security forces on May 30, 2016 are still awaiting justice, four years on, Amnesty International said yesterday.

This came as Alaigbo Development Foundation, ADF, called on Ndigbo all over the world to continue to use May 30 every year as a remembrance  day in memory of the Biafra war of 1967-70.

A statement from the Country Director of Amnesty International in Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, said families and relatives of the victims of the 2016 massacre have been waiting and again ask the Nigerian government to ensure that those suspected of criminal responsibility of the killings are brought to trial, and that the victims and their families receive reparations, including adequate compensation.

Ojigho said: “The tragedy of the Nkpor killings is compounded by the shocking fact that no one suspected to be responsible for the bloodshed has yet been held accountable.

“If  the Nigerian government wants to demonstrate that it is committed to truth and human rights, it needs to ensure that the wheels of justice start turning faster than they have done over the past four years.

“Despite overwhelming evidence that members of the Nigerian security forces fired live ammunition to disperse pro-Biafra gatherings, resulting in the death of at least 150 people, no person suspected of criminal responsibility has been brought to justice.”

Ohanaeze frowns at FG’s handling of the matter

Reacting to the issue, Ohanaeze Ndigbo frowned at the way the Federal Government has handled the matter.

Chief Emeka Attamah, Media Adviser to Chief Nnia Nwodo, the President General of Ohanaeze said: “On behalf of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, I make the following submissions: Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide is miffed by the unprecedented, untrammeled and unconscionable vicious handling of the issues concerning the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

READ ALSO: Biafra Day: We must continue to celebrate Biafra – Igbo Group

“Here is a paradox: from the body language and overt actions of the Federal Government, they don’t want the Igbo in the federating unit called Nigeria; they have emasculated Igbo from all government establishments, their businesses impeded and denied any political space, yet they have refused to accede to their demand of self determination and exit from the same enclave that has denied them full citizenship.

“I know it is far-fetched, but Ndigbo will continue to expect reparation for their dead ones, if only to appease the spirits of the dead.”

We must continue to celebrate Biafra— Igbo group

According to ADF, “May 30 is a day in the history of Alaigbo, deeply rooted in the heart of our people and which nobody can wish away or ban by force of law or prevent by force of arms.”

The group called for the sustenance of the making the date special in the life of Ndigbo with peaceful activities.

“May 30 marks the day Biafra was declared in 1967 and no patriotic Igbo son or daughter can pretend that Biafra is not part of the history and indeed the major water-shed in the history of the Igbo nation.

“If  anyone is in doubt, let him recall what has often happened on May 30, as was especially the case in 2017 and 2018 when  our sons and daughters under the aegis of IPOB, MASSOB and other Pan-Igbo organisations declared a sit-at-home to commemorate Biafra Day as a historic day in the life of Ndigbo and their neighbours, with various  forms of memorial activities to mark  the historic day.

“The total compliance of that call throughout the length and breadth of Alaigbo was not because these pan-Igbo and pro-Biafra organisations have become their supreme authority. No! That call evokes intense yearning in the innermost recesses of the hearts and minds of Umuigbo.

“Consequently, whosoever provoked the observance is welcomed as a lover of the Igbo nation. Biafra evokes intense longing for freedom for our people. Biafra is indeed more than a state of the mind. It is also a material force that moves our people.

“The Alaigbo Development Foundation, therefore, proposes that Umuigbo  should continue to observe May 30 every year as a remembrance day, a day to remember our history, to review our successes and failures, to remember those who have died fighting for the Igbo cause and also think of our future.”

How Biafra day was celebrated in Onitsha, Nnewi, Anam

Meantime, the Biafra Day celebrations, yesterday, in Onitsha, Nnewi and their suburbs were crisis-free.

In Onitsha and Nnewi, commercial activities went normal as people moved freely in spite of earlier doubt the previous day about movement on May 30.

Some Biafra activists were seen in some parts of Onitsha, particularly Okpoko, Fegge, Odoakpu, New Cemetery road and some areas in Inland Town Onitsha, making brisk appearance with Biafra flags and some IPOB  insignias  and disappearing shortly for fear of any collusion with security agencies.

In Nnewi, the celebration was not as pronounced  as in Onitsha but youths who are sympathetic to Biafra activism were seen drinking in beer parlours and public places, discussing Biafra and Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s expository broadcasts.

Vanguard’s visit to Anam communities in Anambra West Local Government Area saw some youths singing  pro-Biafra songs.


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