Saturday 5 December 2015

Grief and anger trails killing of pro- Biafra protesters in Onitsha

Biafra Protest
Reports from Imo State said grief, anger and shock trailed the Wednesday’s killing of the MASSOB and IPOB activists by security agencies in Onitsha, Anambra State.

Many residents recounted what they called “the excesses of the Buhari administration to include the abandonment of the South-East and the assault on defenceless and unarmed protesters”.

They were of the view that some of the recent appointments made by President Buhari showed the disdain his administration has for Ndigbo.

The people recalled with grief, anger and defiance that only the South-East has five states, while others have six and above, with multiple local government areas that equally attract high revenue from the Federation Account.

One of the loyalists of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), who simply identified himself as Geoffrey, appealed to the Federal Government to stop deceiving the country that it is running a democracy.
“In a democracy, people are free to express their misgivings openly. In a democracy, people are free to seek self-determination. If the country is united, our soldiers would find it difficult to direct the nozzles of their guns at unarmed members of MASSOB and IPOB, instead of members of Boko Haram that have been killing hundreds of innocent people for years”, he said.
Speaking also, a female member of IPOB, Mercy Chikodi Agams, said “the Indigenous People of Biafra have been going about their agitation peacefully and will continue to remain peaceful, despite provocations from security agencies.”
Continuing, Agams said “the group is not only resolute in our quest for freedom, but is also aware that in this legitimate struggle, many lives would be lost, not because we want to lose them, but because the Buhari government detests freedom of the oppressed people of Biafra”.
She added “The world is watching the terror unleashed on innocent people legitimately agitating for their right to independence”.
Agams was of the view that what increased the tempo of the agitation was the arrest, detention and prosecution of the Director of Radio Biafra, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, who is now branded a terror suspect by the Federal Government.
“This young Biafran, Kanu, lives in the United Kingdom. If he was the terrorist, which the Federal Government now brands him, the British police would not have allowed him to walk the streets of London unhindered”, the activist said.
To Kemdi Uzor, government has failed to critically ascertain the reasons behind the current agitation, with a view to coming out with the appropriate solution.
“If not that the Ndigbo are industrious, we would have been sentenced to untold hardship and penury. I recall with grief that only paltry 20 pounds was given to all bank depositors at the end of the 30-month old war, irrespective of the amount you left in the account”, Uzor said.
He recalled that the Federal Government took that decision because owners of such accounts either made withdrawals or deposits, while the war lasted.
“So, you can see that the Federal Government expected that the hungry and disease-infested people that were living in land-locked Biafra, should not have operated their accounts for 30 whole months”, Uzor stated.
Some business men in Owerri were, at the weekend, counting their losses, following the closure of markets in Onitsha, the commercial nerve centre of Anambra State.
“Our livelihood and the sustenance of members of our families are dependent on our ability to record reasonable turnover at the end of the day, but the events in Onitsha have definitely slowed things down.
“It is not in doubt that Onitsha and Aba are the major commercial nerve centres in the South-East. These are also the major operational zones of MASSOB and IPOB. The economic environment sadly shrinks each time the groups order their loyalists to the streets”.
Apart from traders, another group of business men that have suffered huge losses, since the uprising started, are commercial vehicle operators.

Some of the commercial drivers heading to Benin, Lagos and the other western states, made use of the Owerri-Elele-Efurun-Warri-Benin axis, while those heading to the North, used the Enugu route and avoided Onitsha.

A driver, who simply identified himself as Uko, complained that the stress occasioned by the diversion, was great and the man hours spent on the trip, longer.

Credit: Vanguard 

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