Leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nanmdi Kanu yesterday stormed the commercial city of Onitsha, Anambra state and restated his stand that there would be no election in Anambra state and the entire south east land if referendum was not conducted preparatory for the restoration of Biafra.
This was about twenty four hours after President of Ohaneze, Chief Nia Nwodo said on Channels Television that he and some Igbo leaders cautioned Kanu on his position on the November Governorship election in the state, saying ‘I told him it was wrong and not the proper way to go’.
Nwodo was responding to a question on Kanu’s call for the boycott of the election in Anambra unless Nigeria conducted a referendum to determine the fate of Biafra.
Nwodo also said that the Igbo were for the restructuring of Nigeria and not a break up of the country, saying that Igbos had more stake in Nigeria than any other tribe.
‘In any Nigerian city outside the indigenes, Igbos are the next highest in population. And that is how their investments in such cities are too. But we must note that the agitations by the youth are caused by the injustice the Igbos have faced and are still facing in Nigeria,’ Nwodo said on television and made similar remarks in Abuja Thursday night. Some hours after this Kanu visited Onitsha and made remarks that appeared to undermine the position of Nwodo and the Igbo leaders who met in Enugu last week. See our cover stories from page 10 to page 14.
Kanu’s remarks yesterday debunked recent media reports which quoted him as saying that he had listened to advice and had now agreed that IPOB members would participate in the November 18 governorship election in the state.
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Kanu and his entourage who arrived Learning Field premises, Omagba Phase II, Onitsha, at about 6.10 p.m. and were received by a tumultuous crowd of IPOB members estimated at over 50,000, alighted from his Toyota Sienna bus and knelt down on top of clothing materials spread for him on the ground and prayed for the repose of the souls of IPOB members who were killed in Onitsha on May 30, 2016 and before then.
After the prayers, he observed a minute silence and started going round the field with microphone to acknowledge cheers from the crowd.
As he was waiving at the crowd, he told them that he was in Onitsha to pass a special message to them. He said that ”there would be no election in Anambra state and in Biafra land, unless there is referendum.”
He said the recent radio broadcast which quoted him as saying in Aguleri that he has agreed that there would be election without referendum was sponsored by enemies of Biafra, adding that the same radio broadcast which quoted him as saying that Governor Willie Obiano had no hand in the massacre of IPOB members in Onitsha was equally sponsored by government propaganda machinery.
As he moved around the field on foot, holding the microphone, Kanu further declared: “There will be no election in Anambra and Biafra land forever and ever. This land belongs to Biafra”.
He further declared: “Our enemies will fail. We are without fear before our enemies. I will be alive to see Biafra or dead fighting for it. You all must see Biafra. Our enemies must know that Biafra was designed in heaven. They must know we are not joking”.
At this juncture, the uncontrollable crowd surged into the centre of the field and started chanting “no election, no election, no referendum, no election”.
Welcoming Kanu on behalf of IPOB members, Chief Leonard Ojukwu who described Kanu as a hero, told him that every average resident of Onitsha is a member of IPOB, adding that the number of crowd would have doubled or tripled if they had had a long notice that he was visiting Onitsha.
Before he entered his vehicle for departure at about 6.40 p.m., Kanu knelt down again and prayed to Chukwuokike (God, the creator) for protection and quicker restoration of Biafra, amidst rampaging crowd.