From AIDOGHIE PAULINUS, New York
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), staged a peaceful protest on the 47th Street, Manhattan, New York, United States, Tuesday to press home their demands for the Sovereign State of Biafra and an end to the killings of IPOB members in the south east of Nigeria.
The protest held as world leaders converged on the United Nations Secretariat for the General Debate of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly where President Muhammadu Buhari delivered Nigeria’s address.
The protest, according to Daily Sun findings, was to draw the attention of the world to the happenings in the southeastern region of Nigeria.
Speaking with Daily Sun, the former Chairman of World Igbo Congress, Chief Austin Egwuonwu, said the protest was against the killing of unarmed youths in the southeast.
“That has to stop. There has to be other means to resolve the conflict. This is the worst way of going about it,” Egwuonwu said.
Egwuonwu added that killing unarmed protesters was not the way to go, saying that the country was not using other means of doing it.
“Killing people, burying them in a mass grave is uncalled for, it is wrong. The leadership of Nigeria has to do something about it,” Egwuonwu stated.
Also speaking, a member of IPOB, Chidi Owoh, said they were at the venue to protest the ongoing subjugation of their people, the Biafrans in Nigeria.
“People have to understand what is going on in Nigeria. Before 1914, we existed as a people. We were on our own, living our own norms and values and our own culture before the European came.
“When they came and met us, for reasons best known to them, they merged us with so many other tribes. Just as we see in anywhere where you have this kind of assignation of people without agreement, it has not worked out. There has been chaos,” Owoh said.
He added that the their demand was for the world to coerce the Nigerian government to arrange a referendum for the Biafra people.
“We want to vote in a referendum whether we want to be part of Nigeria or leave. That is what we want the world to do,” Owo stated.
On her part, Lady Chikwe Njoku, an indigene of Imo State, said she was at the venue to protest against the killing of innocent Igbo youths.
“This is nothing but ethnic and tribal cleansing and it is wrong. Nigeria has civil leadership and we are no longer in a military rule.
“I am calling on our president, President Muhammadu Buhari, to call back the Army, retrieve them from the streets, stop them from killing innocent children, stop them from killing innocent youths. These youths are our future. We cannot allow the military to cleanse them. It is wrong.
“This is not about Biafra. This is about right or wrong, this is about fairness, this is about equity, thi is about illegal killing of the future of Nigeria,” Njoku said.