Commercial activities in Nnewi, Anambra State was on Monday shut down as over seven thousand members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, took to the streets in a solidarity protest, demanding the release of the Director of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, who has been in custody of the Department of State Services, DSS, for over one month.
The protesting IPOB members mobilized from Onitsha, Asaba, Awka, Ekwulobia, Awka-Etiti, Enugu, Imo, Ebonyi and Abia states, gathered at Nnewi from where they moved to the house of late Ikemba Nnewi, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu to ask for his blessing.
One of the commanders, of IPOB, Emeka Onwane, said the protest was a way of demanding for the release of Nnamdi Kanu, who he said, would appear in court today.
On the decision to shut down businesses and commercial activities, Onwane said the decision was taken so as to further press home their demand for Kanu’s release without which there would be no peace in Nigeria.
According to Onwane, the protest would last for three days, adding that Nnewi was chosen for the protest because it was the hometown of the former Biafra war lord, late Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu.
He said, “IPOB is looking up to the international community including the United States, Russia, France and every other countries excluding Britain which is the enemy of Biafra. We are not talking about Igbo presidency; we are talking about an independent nation of Biafra. So, we are looking up to world leaders to help us actualize Biafra.”
The protesters who moved from St. Mary’s Junction to Nkwo Nnewi market, down to the express way leading to Nnewi Area Command, through Odumegwu Ojukwu’s residence to Owerri Road, Nkwo Nnewi Triangle and later headed for Awka-Etiti through Nnobi were seen carrying placards with the inscription, ‘Free Nnamdi Kanu,’ ‘Free Biafra,’ ‘No Biafra, no peace,’ ‘We want Biafra now,’ ‘Biafra now or never.’
Onwane further assured that the protest would be peaceful as all they were agitating for was the immediate release of Kanu.