This was just as security agents comprising the men of the police, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Department of State Services, Army and Air Force also marched around major streets in Owerri and other parts of the state.
Singing pro-Biafran songs, the secessionist groups distributed handbills, with the inscription “2017 Biafran heroes’ Remembrance Day. We remember our fallen heroes from 1966 to 2017 – the 3.5 million Biafrans killed in Nigeria Biafra war, the over 200 IPOB members killed from 2015 till date; the 30th May, 2017 sit-at-home and celebrating 50th Biafran anniversary.”
Amidst cheers from residents, who came out to watch them, MASSOB and IPOB members demonstrated on the street, clutching various Biafran insignia into.
They, however, did not clash with the security agents who were equally on a separate procession.
Speaking to one of our correspondents on the phone, MASSOB leader, Uchenna Madu, said by the procession, security agents were helping his organisation to make the May 30 celebration a huge success.
Madu said members of his group were on the streets to sensitise the people on the need to sit at home on Tuesday in honour of Biafran activists who died while fighting for the freedom of the Biafran people.
The MASSOB leader accused security agents of orchestrating plans to attack his members and IPOB during the celebrating.
“We are not deterred by what the security agents are doing. They are instilling fear into our people thereby helping to make the celebration a success. They want to attack us tomorrow (Tuesday), but we are not deterred,” he said.
The police spokesperson in the state, Andrew Enwerem, told one of our correspondents on the phone that the combined procession by operatives of the different security agencies was “Operation Joint Show of Force.”
He explained that its purpose was to sensitise the people on the need to go about their lawful duties and disregard the “sit-at-home” directive by the pro-Biafran agitators.
The police in Imo State assured residents of the state to shun the “sit-at-home” order issued by the members of MASSOB and IPOB, saying that they had the capability and capability to protect them from the pro-Biafran agitators.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Andrew Enwerem, in a statement issued in Owerri on Monday, stated that the Commissioner of Police, Chris Ezike, in conjunction with heads of other security agencies, advised the residents not to fall prey to the propaganda and instruction issued by the Biafran agitators about the “sit-at-home” on Tuesday.
He said in line with instruction by the Inspector-General of Police to commissioners of police to keep their states on red alert ahead of the celebration, the command in collaboration with other security agencies had started an “operation show of force” and other simulation exercises in the state capital to sensitise the people that the police would protect them.
Advising parents and guardians to admonish their children and wards against taking part in any violent conduct, Enwerem described MASSOB and IPOB members as unpatriotic elements whose “identities remain largely unknown.”
But IPOB on Monday alleged that security agencies had placed surveillance on its leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
In a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, IPOB said the Afaraukwu residence of Kanu in Umuahia was under siege.
He said the Nigerian Air Force was using helicopter to monitor Kanu’s community and environs.
It maintained that the police and army attacked its members, who were evangelising in Aba on Monday.
Buhari not a democrat, must be sacked in 2019 – Atiku averred
POLITICS – Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of being undemocratic despite coming to power in 2015 through a democratic process.
Atiku stated this on Thursday when he visited Kogi State delegates of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
He debunked the insinuation that he currently holds grudge against his former boss, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.
“I will continue to express my reservations on the willingness of President Buhari to hand over power. I have a simple and straight explanation for this. When Buhari took over power in 1983, they asked him of his transition to civil rule, then he responded, he doesn’t have.
“My stand is that one, he is not a democrat. Secondly, he is only using democracy to go back to power. If he loses election in 2019, he must hand over power” Atiku averred.
NYSC member battling for life after soldier’s assault in Kaduna camp
The corper, set to complete his service next month, had been appointed to the brigade band to train the current corps members. However, at the end of the parade, he excused himself and was planning to leave when a female soldier stopped him and said he couldn’t go.
He allegedly tried to explain to the soldier that he had to leave, as he is not bounded by the camp rules, but the soldier started harassing him. A male soldier later joined his colleague and kicked the corper, who fell and landed awkwardly on his head. The soldier was said to have pulled him up with his belt, raised him high and dropped him, making him faint immediately.
The victim was then rushed to the camp clinic, where preliminary assessment showed that he broke his neck in the process. He was later rushed out of the camp to a clinic and it’s being rumored that he is now between life and death.
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