Biafra Day: Police arrest pro-Biafra agitators in Enugu
• Sit-at-home order grounds Imo, Anambra
• Bianca flays Ndigbo for not immortalising civil war martyrs
It was a sad anniversary celebration for over 35 members of pro-Biafra agitators, under aegis of Biafra Zionist Movement (BZM), as the police, yesterday, arrested them in Enugu during a procession to mark this year’s Biafra Day.
The Guardian gathered that members of the group led by Benjamin Onwuka, who assembled at a location in Independent Layout, Enugu, carrying Biafra insignia, were accosted and arrested by the police during a procession.
It was not clear whether Onwuka was among those arrested.
Sources said they were arrested around 11:00 a.m. and taken to the state Police Command, adding that the agitators were also displaying United States of America (USA) and Israeli flags.
The source said: “BZM members, numbering over 30, had arrived the venue to embark on a procession. They had Biafran flags and those of USA and Israel. They were also carrying loads of tracks bearing the name of their group and messages.
“It was when they started marching that about five Hilux vans, loaded with policemen, came and arrested them. I must tell you that they were not bearing arms or dangerous weapons.”
When contacted, the Spokesman of the state Police Command, Daniel Ndukwe (DSP), said he was yet to be briefed and promised to get back.
Economic and social activities were at a standstill, yesterday, as residents deserted streets in compliance with the directive from pro-Biafra agitators to observe the day as sit-at-home in commemoration of the Nigeria-Biafra war.
Meanwhile, the National Leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Uchenna Madu, in a statement, hailed residents for complying with the 56th anniversary of the war, which, he said, was in line with the declaration of Biafra Republic by late Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu.
He used the occasion to appeal to President Bola Tinubu to release detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi kanu.
SIMILARLY, businesses were grounded at different parts of the 647 autonomous communities in the 27 councils of Imo State, in compliance with the sit-at-home order by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to commemorate the yearly Biafra Day.
The group had directed the sit-at-home in the South East in remembrance of those killed during the war.
The directive recorded over 80 per cent compliance in Awka, Onitsha, Nnewi and environs as people stayed in doors, coupled with the hike in fuel pump price, following alleged removal of subsidy by President Bola Tinubu.
MEANWHILE, Bianca Odumegwu-Ojukwu, wife of the late Biafra Warlord, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, has lamented failure of Ndigbo to immortalise Bruce Mayrock and August Martin, among others, who sacrificed their lives while supporting the rights of Biafrans to life and self-determination.
Bianca recalled that Mayrock was the 20-year old, who set himself ablaze in front of United Nations Building in New York on May 29,1969, to draw attention to the plight of Biafran people in the Nigerian civil war.
She also explained that Martin was the first black American commercial air pilot, who died when the plane conveying him, his wife, Gladys, and other humanitarian aids workers, crashed while trying to land under heavy rain storm at Uli Airstrip, in Ihiala Council of Anambra State on May 30th 1969.
In a statement posted on her Facebook to mark Biafra Day, Ojukwu’s wife said: “Martin sacrificed his life to protest the genocide of Ndigbo in the course of 1967-1970 Nigeria-Biafra war.
“Uli remains the final resting place of dozens of other international volunteers, who died trying to fly in supplies to help Biafrans.”
She lamented that, till date, there is no plaque, tombstone, epitaph, remembrance nameplate, nor graves of these unfortunate volunteers, who died in their quest to fly in food and other relief to Biafrans marked for extinction.