David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
A Police Inspector and a member of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), on Friday, were confirmed dead during a clash between the separatist agitators and the Police Force in Nnewi, Anambra State. Many others were said to have sustained various degrees of injuries during the fracas that took place at the popular Nkwo Nnewi Market.
The clash was said to have taken place when members of the pro-Biafran group, numbering over 2000, stormed the market to drive home their, “no referendum, no 2019 election” stance, an action that was said to be going on simultaneously in other parts of the South East.
The group, with each member waving the Biafran flag, moved round, asking people in the market not to participate in the 2019 general elections unless the federal government was ready to heed their demand on conducting referendum. Our correspondent gathered that problem started when policemen arrived the scene in three Toyota Hilux vans and attempted to stop the protesters.
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“Members of the group allegedly resisted the police and destroyed their vans leading to casualties,” an eyewitness told Saturday Sun. It was gathered that traders at the market hurriedly closed shops and scampered for safety at about 2:30pm when the fracas started.
According to a senior police officer, who asked that his name be not mentioned in print because he is not officially authorized to speak for the Force, some arrests have been made. But a public statement issued by the IPOB Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, said that members of the group were in the industrial city to express their joy over the sudden appearance of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu, in Jerusalem.
He added that the reappearance of their leader was a clear testimony that the struggle for Biafra actualisation was divine. A part of the statement read: “IPOB volunteers marched along all major streets and roads of Biafraland today to register their happiness over the second coming and reappearance of our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, in Jerusalem, the state of Israel, last month.
“Our leader’s reappearance in Israel after the Nigerian government and her security forces including the Nigerian Army, Air force and Naval forces invaded his compound at Afaraukwu Ibex Umuahia in Abia State last year September is clearly an indication, to all and sundry, that God Almighty (Chukwu Okike Abiama) is behind the struggle for Biafra liberation.
“Biafrans are equally today showcasing to the world that we are ready to boycott every Nigerian election come 2019, especially presidential election next year. Our march, today, on the roads and streets across Biafraland must send signals to politicians and saboteurs among us that Biafrans are determined to leave the prison called Nigeria where British government experimented to lead black Africans and other black nations across the globe but failed to live up to the expectations for over 100 years because of the Hausa-Fulani caliphate domination.
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“IPOB rally and march today being 23rd November, 2018 is ongoing in all the states across Biafraland like Rivers, Enugu, Abia, Anambra, Delta, Imo, Ebonyi, Cross Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and other Biafra clans and tribes fraudulently carved into Kogi, Benue and Edo States. The unrelenting efforts by IPOB family worldwide to restore Biafra sovereignty must continue unless Nigeria Government and its handlers give us date for Biafra referendum to ascertain whether our people want to continue to stay in Nigeria or not.
“We are much aware (of the existence of) some unscrupulous individuals and groups including those Biafran stocks who work with Nigeria Government and those who prefer to be slaves in their own fatherland to the detriment of Biafra restoration project. IPOB is divinely ordained to restore Biafra sovereignty out of this enclave called Nigeria. We are coming to show Nigerians and its handlers, including their security apparatus, what is called civil disobedience because IPOB is more of intellectuals than daft.”