Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 23 May 2017 | 2,306 times
The commercial city of Onitsha in Anambra State was Monday held spell bound as members of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB)-Biafra Independent Movement (BIM) led by Chief Ralph Uwazurike took to the roads to observe the 17th Anniversary of re-declaration of Biafra and hoisting of its flag at Aba, Abia State, on May 22, 2000.
MASSOB-BIM members loyal to Uwazuruike in their thousands from Nnewi, Awkuzu, Aguleri, Umuleri, Nsugbe Ogidi, Nkpor Oba and environs stormed Onitsha in the early hours of the day and took over the major roads of Onitsha/Owerri Road, Old Market Road, Nkpor New Road and Enugu Onitsha Expressway, chanting Biafra songs and praising, Uwazuruike for reviving the Biafra struggle.
The procession which started in the early hours of the morning caused major human and vehicular traffic jam along the major roads as private and commercial vehicles moved slowly behind them.
The group while in their procession waved Biafran flags with inscriptions. They drove in cars, tricycle and motorcycles.
There was, however, no procession in Nnewi and Awka as people went about their normal businesses.
The celebration in Onitsha was peaceful without any record of casualties but a truck load of Police men and Joint Task Force of the Military Police, Civil Defense were seen parading the streets to ensure there was no breakdown of law and order.
Addressing Journalists by the roadside in Onitsha, the Anambra North Zonal leader of MASSOB-BIM, Mr. Vincent Iloh stated that May 22, 2000 was the day Uwazuruike declared the new Biafra struggle for independence from Nigeria.
In his words, “It is exactly 17 years today, what we in MASSOB-BIM are still saying through non- violence is that Biafran should be granted independence from Nigeria. That was what our great hero and the Peoples General, late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu tried to do in 1967 but he was misunderstood.
“This is what the new Biafran leader, Chief Uwazuruike has continued to say since 1999 without the use of force. And until the needful is done, we will not relent and as long as the intent and purposes of the amalgamation of the North and South were to cheat Ndigbo, Nigeria can never make any appreciable progress.
“We want Biafra because the resources of Biafran land have been confiscated with military might to develop other areas while the Biafran states were left to wallow in dilapidation and state of disrepair.”
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