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MASSOB’s sit-at-home a success —Igbos speak

By News Express on 09/06/2013

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Yesterday’s sit-at-home order given by the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) to residents of Nigeria’s Igbo heartland in the country’s South-East has been adjudged a success by a cross section of Igbos even though the compliance was not total.

Unlike what happened on previous occasions when such an order was given, only three states (Anambra, Ebonyi and Imo) complied while people in Abia and Enugu states opened for business.  

In Anambra, two MASSOB members were reported dead and upwards of 15 others injured in Onitsha, the state’s commercial hub, when their bus crashed as they fled from an advancing troop of the Nigerian Army.

Appraising the success of the sit-at-home order, seasoned journalist and public relations practitioner Uche Ezechukwu said on his Facebook wall: “Many ‘Biafrans’ observed the sit-at-home order by MASSOB.”

Another senior journalist, Emeka Alex Duru, wrote on his wall: “God bless every Biafran who through non violence, prayers, sit-at-home, today, remembered all the Igbo whose blood had in one way or the other been spilt in the cause of the Nigerian state. You are the true heroes of your time. I am proud of you.”

On his part, Uche Wisdom Durueke, a senior legal practitioner and human rights activist, wrote this morning: “The ‘sit at home’ directive by MASSOB recorded impressive success yesterday as many businesses did not open. There was light traffic in many cities. It shows that peaceful protest is still possible in present day Nigeria, if the consciousness of Nigerians is aroused to bad policies and programmes of government and peaceful protests against such policies and programmes are well planned.

“The ‘sit at home’ protest is veritable of way confronting trigger happy government; ready to kill and injure fellow citizens, in matters of public interest. It is no crime to stay at home.

“I think that the time has come for us, as Nigerians, to consciously search for common ground for our national peace, unity and co-existence. The political elites and those in government do not have answer to the situation. We need a citizens’ action for peace, unity and co-existence!”

News Express reports that MASSOB, which was founded in September 1999 by an Indian-trained lawyer, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, occasionally directs Igbos to stay at home from 6am to 4pm to protest their ordeal in Nigeria. Yesterday’s directive was meant to mourn Igbos killed in northern states by the Boko Haram Islamist group and the failure of the Nigerian authorities to fully prosecute policemen who killed six Igbo traders (the Apo 6) in the country’s capital, Abuja, 10 years ago.

MASSOB’s Director of Information, Mr. Uchenna Madu, in a statement lambasted Nigeria’s security agencies for throwing a heavy security net on streets across Igboland in a bid to frustrate the enforcement of yesterday’s sit-at-home directive. He described the heavy presence of the army, police, State Security Service (SSS) and Civil Defence personnel on the streets as an act of cowardice.

Photo shows MASSOB members during one of their protest marches.

Source News Express

Posted 09/06/2013 07:55:57 AM


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