Tension as MASSOB marks 21st anniversary of Biafra struggle
By Phil Okose, Onitsha
Palpable fear has allegedly gripped residents of Onitsha, Nnewi and other cities in the south east as the Chief Ralph Uwazuruike-led Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB commemorates its 21st anniversary of Biafra independence struggle.
It was gathered that many people have engaged in panic buying of essential necessities ahead of the event slated for Friday, 22, May 2020 for fear that it may lead to shutdown of commercial activities in parts of Igboland. Those who expressed fear told our correspondent that they ought not to have celebrated it at this time of covid-19.
According to a trader in Onitsha, James Okemadu, “I fear my brother because we are yet to come out from covid-19 and MASSOB has come up with its own wahala. They would have postponed it to give us breathing space. Nigeria is a banana republic”
Also, Nkiru Ekeoma, a civil servant in Nnewi said that, “I have bought food stuffs for the celebration, it is covid-19 to MASSOB-BIM celebration, who knows the next one after this”
At Atani, Ogbaru council Area, Mr Okam Ezeh, an artisan, warned that, “it is revolution that will stop all this rubbish. No rest for the man of God; let them be ready for us. One day, the government will run away and the poor will take over leadership. Every time ‘stay at home’ but the rich has everything within their reach so if you say one year he still feeds fat” he warned.
Reacting to the tension, Mr James Ezeani, who goes by the title of regional administrator for MASSOB-BIM in Idemili North local government area, allayed fear of possible market closure or protest during the event. According to him, “because of coronavirus pandemic now killing people globally, we will not be on procession. There will not be any sort of harassment of people on that day as we are a nonviolent movement struggling for a Biafran state but I urge Biafrans to join us in the celebration. We will stay in our various domains and make merry, thank God for giving us a sovereign state of Biafra which we had been praying for.
Ezeani adds: “Currently we have been admitted as the 46th member nation among the unrepresented nations and people’s organisation, UNPO, and I commend Chief Ralph Uwazuuike, Ezeigbo Gburugburu, for his efforts towards achieving a Biafra state and also towards our admittance as 46th member Nation of UNPO”.