From Okey Sampson, Umuahia
Members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on Friday protested in Aba, Abia State over non-release of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu by the Federal Government.
Reports said that the protesters, which included women and numbering over 500, vowed not to allow the 2023 election hold in the Southeast if their leader was not released and Biafra granted them.
“Forget 2023 election in Southeast if our leader, Nnamdi Kanu is still in DSS custody,” the protesting IPOB members told the Federal Government.
The protest was held simultaneously in three local government areas of Aba North, Aba South and Osisioma, with unconfirmed reports saying the protest also held in Ugwunagbo, Ukwa West and Ukwa East LGAs.
Earlier reports have it that the IPOB members had planned to do the protest at the centre of the commercial city, but had to change their plans when they got information that security agents in the city would go after them.
This it was gathered informed the idea of the pro-Biafra group holding the protest at different locations off the city centre, taking advantage of the deplorable condition of the roads which would debar security agents from accessing the venues.
Another report has it that a group of IPOB members protested through No. 1 Ngwa road to Omuma road and terminated their protest at Ariaria International Market, where they reportedly warned that Monday sit-at-home would be strictly monitored, stating that the group would deal with anyone that flouts the order.
The protesters warned that they would be forced to not only shutdown the economy of the state and Southeast, but the entire country until their leader was released from the detention.
“The President of Nigeria when Igbo elders visited him in Abuja said he doesn’t want to interfer with the judicial process.
“The same judiciary in several judgments has asked the Federal Government to free our leader. Some asked the Federal Government to pay him compensation.
“Some of the courts asked that they should take our leader back to Kenya where they illegally abducted him from.
“This is part of our renewed warning signal to the Federal Government that they should forget 2023 elections in the Southeast if they continue to detain Nnamdi Kanu.”
It was gathered that the protesting IPOB members chanted solidarity songs, and carried placards some of which read: “Release our leader, Nnamdi Kanu without delay,” “Grant us the state of Biafra immediately”, “There will be no election in Igbo land in 2023, what we need is referendum for Biafra”.
The protesters warned residents to keep of the streets of the city on Monday as next week’s sit-at-home will be thoroughly monitored for observance.
Although there were reports that security agents trailed the protesters, there was, however, no information of any clash between the security personnel and the IPOB members.