Protest in Port Harcourt Over Nnamdi Manu's Arrest
Supporters of the Radio Biafra boss, under the umbrella of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, resident in Rivers State have stormed the city of Port Harcourt with a heavy protest demanding the unconditional release of their leader and presenter, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu. The protesters numbering over 5000 who were split into seven groups appeared peaceful, although, chanting war songs also called for the creation of the sovereign state of Biafra. The agitators, mainly business men and women of Igbo extraction, said it was an act of impunity for the federal government to apprehend a man who is championing the cause of his people.
The IPOB supporters claimed that they were not part of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, adding that the IPOB is fighting a true cause for the emancipation of the Biafrans. The protesters who waved the Biafra flag as they marched, chanting Biafra solidarity songs said they were not satisfied with the bail conditions granted Mr Kalu, demanding that he should be released unconditionally.
They expressed grievance with the alleged unfair treatment of the Igbo by the Nigerian state, stressing that Biafra of their dream was a reality. “We are hopeful that Biafra will come to be. We are not satisfied with the bail conditions granted Kalu. During the elections, they had strange radio stations blaring hate speeches and threats in some parts of the north but nobody harassed them. This unfairness against the Igbo must stop”, one of the protesters said as they marched on. Some motorists blared their vehicles horns in solidarity as they drove through the protesters.
Speaking, one of the coordinators of IPOB, Mr. Chidiebre Aguodu said, “The reason for this protest is that our able chairman, the father and founder of IPOB worldwide has been held by President Muhammadu Buhari. We need him to be released to us unconditionally. The protest for now is peaceful, but we need Biafra and we need freedom. We are armless, we have not harmed anybody and we owe nobody any apology for what we are doing. As Biafrans, we stand for justice and justice will reign.
“Now our director has been held for days and we want him out and we want freedom in Biafra land. I advise the country to allow Biafrans go because the marriage has lasted for 101 years and there was no understanding. The battle lasted for 40 years and we have won three times. All we want now is freedom because we are tired of the marriage. Let Nigerians be Nigerians and Biafrans be Biafrans.”
Similarly, Mr. Harrison Onyema said, “We want secession . We will continue this agitation in all the Biafran States until justice is made to our demand for secession. Here is not called Port Harcourt. It is called Igwuocha, a city in Biafran Nation.” Later at the peak of the protest, shooting from some security operatives caused scare around Mile One axis of Port Harcourt. The shooting started when some of the protesters invaded the Zenith Bank in Ikwere road and brought down a Nigerian flag hung in the bank premises. This made some security operatives attached to the bank to start shooting into the air to scare off the ragging protesters.