Posted by Boniface Okoro, Umuahia | 16 November 2015 | 5,497 times
Pro-Biafra protesters this morning hit the capital of Abia State, Umuahia, in their continued demand for unconditionla release of the leader of Indigienous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Director of Radio Biafra, Prince Nnamdi Kanu. The protesters had last week, shut down economic activities in Aba, the economic hub of Abia.
Today’s protest saw the agitators for an independent Biafra marching through major streets of the capital city while security agents were on hand ro ensure that the protest remained peaceful. It was not like other protests in Aba, Owerri, Enugu, Onitsha, Asaba and Port Harcourt where business activities were disrupted as the cities were locked down when such protests took place.
The Umuahia march was peaceful. Economic activities were not disrupted while offices, markets and shops remained open for normal businesses.
The protesters, numbering about 500, took off from Isi Court in Umuahia South Local Government Area and connected Aba Road and Umuwaya Road, from where they headed for the adjoining Bende Road and veered left to Enugu Road, which linked them to Uwalaka Street. They were accompanied by a pick-up van fully loaded with army personnel, ostensibly to forestall a possible breakdown of law and order, who reportedly rough-handled a youngman for allegedly taking photos or recording the march.
The protesters carried the portrait of Kanu and the Biafran flag and chanted songs of freedom as they marched through the streets.
A combined team of security personnel, including those of the police, army and civil defence, had mounted surveillance in strategic locations, among them the Government House and Isi Gate, while a convoy of heavily armed security personnel also patrolled the city with an armoured personnel carrier.
Before the protest, the State Government had put up an announcement, alerting Abians that it “received disturbing reports that some people under the aegis of MASSOB have planned to disrupt the peace of Umuahia, the Capital City of Abia State, on Monday November 16, 2015.”
The announcement, endorsed by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Comrade Bonnie Iwuoha, added: “While appreciating the rights of citizens to air their views in a democracy, Government will not condone lawless acts that could impede the progress of the State. More so, as it has been discovered that a disgruntled politician in the state is funding the said protest march.
“Government, therefore, calls on parents to prevail on their children not to join misguided elements in acts that could destabilise the progress of our state.”
The statement warned that police and other security agencies have been directed to take lawful steps to protect the peace of the state and secure lives and property of law-abiding citizens.
•Photo shows pro-Biafra protesters.
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