The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, yesterday in Anambra State, embarked on spiritual warfare in its agitation for the release of their incarcerated leader and Director of Radio Biafra, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, with a prayer session and fasting in some parts of the state.
The prayer and fasting which started at exactly 7am and ended at about 3pm in some locations of the state where members trooped outen masse without the usual display of IPOB flags and banners, was aimed at God’s intervention for the release of Mr. Kanu, actualization of Biafra, and the alleged intimidation, harassment, and killings of the members of the group by military operatives, whom they said will not go free for the innocent blood they are shedding.
In a statement issued after their prayer at a location in Ukpor in Nnewi South Council Area, IPOB Media and Publicity Officer, Mr. Emma Powerful called on the Bishops and priests of the Catholic, Anglican Churches and Pentecostals Pastors to be prayerful for the restoration of Biafra and for the release of Mr. Kanu.
“Nigeria is dwindling to irredeemable situation under the All Progressives Congress, APC, government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Biafra is the only answer to the problem Nigeria is facing now. The APC government is confused and the people who led Nigeria into this mess, the APC henchmen, their so called national leaders who wanted change at all cost, are now all dumb. They have no answer to the problems they have created. The only answer now is Biafra.
“We are not joking about this spiritual declaration. We have been praying and fasting. No bloodshed of Biafrans will go unpunished. The APC members who are deeply religious should go and ask questions about the consequences of the atrocities they have committed with the killing of innocent youths who were praying at Aba, innocent youths who were peacefully agitating in Onitsha whom the military killed.
“When we were taking those they shot dead to hospitals, their blood was revolting against the APC government and the party which will never know peace until they leave IPOB and other Biafra agitating groups alone”, he said.
He also urged the churches to pray ceaselessly because the people being killed are their members and children of God who were exercising their constitutional rights of peaceful protest and non violent agitation, adding that they should equally pray for Mr. Kanu who is facing unjust trial. Mr Powerful described Kanu as God sent from United Kingdom, where he has everything going for him but decided to come to Nigeria and suffer and liberate the marginalized and humiliated sections of Nigerians that are asking for freedom.
“We want Chukwuokike Abiama(God Almighty) to reveal the truth in the next court and to the world, for Mr. Kanu our innocent leader, to disgrace and blind the enemies of Biafra and those who want to use Biafra and Mr. Kanu to gain cheep popularity in their misguided government that is heading for the rocks” he said.
Destabilizing the struggle
Also yesterday, the Movement for the Actualization for the Sovereign States, MASSOB, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike- faction, accused the federal government of using one of its expelled members, Uchenna Madu, to destabilize the struggle for the actualization of an independent state of Biafra.
MASSOB’s National Director of Information, Sunny Okereafor who stated this in an interview with newsmen in Aba, Abia state, said information available to the group revealed that Madu has been working with the federal government to sabotage Biafra.
“There is no doubt that the Federal Government is using Uchenna Madu to ensure that there is crisis in the former Eastern region. He is being used to instigate crisis in Biafran territory. Uchenna Madu was our member before he was expelled; so we know him and what he can do’.”
He should cover his face in shame for his anti Biafra activities. He is seeking relevance and can do anything for the sake of money. Uchenna Madu will regret being used to sabotage Biafra.
“He is now claiming MASSOB headquarters, Okwe, in Onuimo LGA of Imo State, which was built on Chief Ralph Uwazuruike’s father’s land. Why can’t Uchenna Madu who has been expelled from MASSOB go back to his father’s compound in Isuochi in Umunneochi LGA of Abia state and set up his own group? He is staying at Uwazuruike’s building, why can’t he go back to his father’s house?
“He should stop using MASSOB to deceive people. He is just calling Uwazuruike names to cover his dealing with the federal government against Biafra.”
He insisted that MASSOB would not be distracted by the antics of Uchenna Madu and his cohorts; adding that as a non violent organization, it has cut clear strategies to achieve an independent state of Biafra.
On allegations that Uwazurike has enriched himself while claiming to fight for the actualization of Biafra, Okereafor dismissed such report as the ranting of expelled members like Uchenna Madu.
According to him, “Chief Ralph Uwazurike’s problem is that people misunderstand his non violent approach to the issue of Biafra. They should know that Biafra cannot be achieved with violence. Chief Uwazuruike has sacrificed a lot in the agitation for Biafra. Do you know how many times he has been held in long detentions in prisons for fighting for Biafra?
“Between Ralph Uwazurike and Uchenna Madu, who has made more efforts to actualize Biafra? So, Uchenna Madu and his group will continue to make unfounded allegations against Uwazurike in order to distract attention from their making the struggle a tool of merchandize and duping politicians through promising to use MASSOB to help them during elections. We will not allow ourselves to be distracted by people like him.”
Biafra, not Igbo
Meantime, leader of the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Front, NDPVF, Alhaji Mujahid Asari Dokubo has said that contrary to the perception in most quarters that the name Biafra which was adopted by the then breakaway Eastern region is Igbo, the phrase is Ijaw.
He also noted it was an Ijaw man, who suggested the name at a meeting convened by the late leader of the defunct Republic of Biafra, Chief Chukwuemeka Ojukwu to decide on the way forward for the Eastern region after the 1966/1967 pogrom.
Dokubo, who said this in a statement stated that the late Niger Delta activist, Maj. Isaac Adaka Boro affirmed that Ijaw is Biafra in chapter six of his autobiography entitled: Twelve Day Revolution.
He further said that the ties between Igbo and Ijaw ethnic groups are inseparable, adding that It was another Ijaw Cardinal Rex Jim Lawson, who first played the Biafran national anthem during the proclamation of independence on May 30, 1967.
His words: “Ignorance can be a terrible disease but it is curable if the sufferer is ready to humble himself to learn and accept the cure for his sickness. Biafra is a Kalabari Ijaw phrase Bia fulo meaning not properly cooked. The Kalabari of Kula named the estuary of Santa Barbara Bia fulo because of the turbulence of the sea at the estuary. The Portuguese like they did to many other names, words and phrases which they could not pronounce properly named the area Biafra. Later the coastline from the estuary of River Nun to the coast of Gabon was named the Bight of Biafra.
“The doyen of our struggle Isaac Adaka Boro clearly affirmed that Ijaw is Biafra in chapter six, page 57 of his autobiography ‘Twelve Day Revolution’. Col. Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, before the declaration of secession, convoked an Eastern Nigerian consultative Assembly to decide on the direction and way forward for the Eastern Region after the 1966/1967 pogrom against Easterners in the north. The assembly debated on many names put forward by delegates and chose Biafra which was put forward by Frank Opigo an Ijaw.”