BIM, MASSOB defy warning, release programme for May 22 anniversary
• Okorocha assures Imo residents of freedom of speech
Despite warning by security agencies against public procession or protest, the Biafra Independent Movement (BIM) and the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) have finalised plans to celebrate their anniversary on May 22.
A statement by the Deputy Director of Information, Jimmy Ukaegbu and Emma Akabekwe at the weekend said the leader of BIM, Chief Ralph Uwazurike and other principal officials have approved May 22 to celebrate the event.
The statement disclosed that members of the groups in the South East and South South had been informed to mark the anniversary in their locations without violence.
According to the statement, activities lined up for the occasion include peaceful procession by members from the regions, cultural display, football matches and thanksgiving service.
Speaking on the event, an official of the movement, Ahamefula Onyenuma, said: “The change of date for the anniversary was symbolic. Uwazurike hoisted the Biafra flag on May 22 while Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu declared the state of Biafra, demanding its independence on May 30, 1967.”
Meanwhile, Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha has pledged that his administration would provide a platform for indigenes and residents of the state to express themselves without hindrance.
Okorocha spoke at the weekend during the Freedom Day celebration at Freedom Square, Owerri. The event was moderated by the Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the state, Chief Innocent Igwe.