Biafra group announces protest against Ohanaeze, govs over leader’s arrest

Members of the Biafra Zionists Federation (BZF) yesterday announced their intention to embark on mass protests against the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the South-East Governors’ Forum (SEGF), over their silence on the alleged disappearance of their leader, Mr. Benjamin Onwuka.

Onwuka had remained incommunicado 11 days after he was reportedly arrested by security operatives following another failed attempt to enter the Enugu Government House and BZF declared that it was running out of patience over the whereabouts of their leader. He was arrested alongside his members on August 20 as they attempted to enter the Enugu Government House for the purpose of inaugurating the Biafra Republic. However, while his followers were freed same evening, Onwuka has not been heard of ever since. A statement by the group’s Deputy Leader, Mazi Ambrose Ugwu, said the youth wing of the BZF was mobilising for a massive protest against the South-East governors and the Ohanaeze Ndigbo. Ugwu, who said the leadership of the BZF had been calming the youth down for nearly two weeks, added:

“As it stands now, there is very little we can do any longer. “Our youths have run out of patience in their demand to see Onwuka, either dead or alive. No law allows for the detention of any Nigerian for more than 24 hours without being charged to court, more so when the person is being denied access to food and his relations. “For the umpteenth time, we want to make it loud and clear, our leader, Barr. Benjamin Onwuka, is being held under the instruction of the South-East governors and the Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by Nnia Nwodo.

“Our youths are mobilising for a massive protest and it will lead to a total shutdown of whatever is called Ohanaeze Ndigbo. We, the elders of the Zionsits, have been holding them back, with the belief that those concerned will do the needful, but we can’t hold them forever.

“The earlier Nnia Nwodo and his cohorts, the South- East governors release Onwuka’s corpse for us, the better for them. Our demand is simple: ‘we want to see our leader, dead or alive’. “Nwodo and his Ohanaeze are merely interested in propagating the interest of his choice northern presidential candidate than the Igbo he claims to lead.

He is betraying the people and sabotaging the Biafra struggle. “For now, we demand immediate disbandment of the Nwodo’s leadership of Ohanaeze. We have ceased to recognize him as such and urge all lovers of Igbo course to do same.”

Meanwhile, members of the BZF had last week raised the raised the alarm over the safety of Onwuka, where they urged the government to release his corpse if he is dead. On his part, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of Enugu State Police Command, Superintendent of Police (SP), Ebere Amaraizu, has consistently maintained that Onwuka is in police custody. He told journalists that the police picked up Onwuka and that he had been in ‘olive custody’. Recting to this through a statement, the Deputy Leader of BZF, Mazi Ambrose Ugwu, said every effort they had made to ascertain the whereabouts of their leader had been fruitless.

Ugwu said: “From all indications, our leader, Barr. Benjamin Onwuka, has been killed by security forces. “We have been at the DSS Enugu office for several times but they are silent on the matter. The very first day others were released, they even told us that Onwuka too was released. But it turned out to be a hoax. “For the past four days, we have gone there to at least give him food, but they refused us entry. So, based on the above situations, we have no further doubt that he has been killed.

“We are now urging the international community, especially the United States and Israel to prevail on the Nigerian government to release his corpse to us for a decent burial. He deserves to be accorded such burial in the light of his struggle for the people.

“The Buhari government should direct whoever is holding the corpse to release it to the Zionists’ family to enable us to pay our last respect to him. “However, we must also decry a situation where the Nigerian security forces are turning their arms against harmless freedom fighters whereas armed herdsmen are walking the streets unhindered. Nobody has ever seen any Zionist with a matchete, let alone a gun. “It is, therefore, the apex of oppression that we are being subjected to this level of intimidation because we are asking for freedom, which we are doing in line with all international laws and conventions. “No form of intimidation will, however, make us to drop our right for self-determination. We can’t be forced to remain in a country where there is no justice and equity.

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