As the celebration for Biafra Day draws nearer, the Mazi Nnamdi Kanu-led Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Biafra Independence Movement (BIM) as well as Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), founded by Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, still sing different tunes.
While IPOB insists on May 30 as the authentic and official date for the celebration and ordered all celebrants in Biafraland to sit at home, Uwazuruike’s BIM/MASSOB ordered celebrants not to come out and celebrate.
This has given rise to tension in the areas the freedom anniversary will take place.
Addressing newsmen in Nnewi, Anambra State at the weekend, the Anambra South Senatorial zone leader of BIM/MASSOB, Chief Arinze Igbani, who was flanked by the zonal director for transport, Chief Charles Oputa, described IPOB and its leaders as “people who have been systematically edged out of the mainstream of the struggle to actualise Biafra.”
He urged them to turn to and support the “architect” of Biafran independence, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, who, he said, had suffered more than any other person including long period of jail for the actualization of the sovereign state of Biafra.
“We don’t have much to say about our brother, Nnamdi Kanu because they have systematically edged him out of the struggle since he accepted not to stay in the midst of over ten people or address the press. This means he cannot go to church, market, hospital, birthday, any public function because in any of these cases he will be facing more than ten persons at a time. He might even find it difficult to receive visitors in other not to contravene the order given to him by the court. And we do not wish him to go back to prison. We heard the other time South East Senate caucus that perfected his freedom warned him to abide by the court order. So, leadership and control of the agitation for Biafra squarely rests on Uwazuruike now as before,” Chief Igbani said.
He said that BIM/MASSOB would never relent in their effort until the sovereign state of Biafra became a reality under nonviolence principles, adding that the emergence of the new Biafran nation was very close.
For the upcoming Biafra Day celebration, Chief Igbani said the event which would take off on May 22, 2017 was slated to hold in Onitsha and other places in Anambra State, Owerri and other places in Imo State, Aba, Enugu, Abakiliki, other towns and cities in the five States of the South East zone; Asaba and other parts of Delta State, Portharcourt and other parts of Rivers State. He said the celebration would be rounded off with football tournaments among the Biafrans at verious points.
Igbani queried why people should stay at home during an important celebration and told all in Biafran land to feel free and not to confine themselves to their homes.
The transport director, Chief Oputa called on all transporters to come out enmass and join in the anniversary celebration. He warned Nigeria security agents to steer clear of the members of BIM/MASSOB in the course of the celebration which he said was to be non violent.