PORT HARCOURT— Victims of the Friday, 20th January, 2017, Donald Trump solidarity rally in the capital city of Port Harcourt, Rivers State by family members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, have cried out for justice one year after the unwholesome massacre, toture and illegal detention that characterised the event.
It can be recalled that the solidarity rally organised by IPOB for the inauguration of the then US President-elect, Donald Trump in Port-Harcourt, turned bloody as members of the Nigerian combined security forces, violently went after unarmed agitators who are only carrying and waving Biafran, American and Israeli flags and disrupted the peaceful procession.
IPOB’s support for Trump, according to one of the victims who recently spoke with our Correspondent, was born out of the belief that he will be sympathetic and supportive to their cause of creating an independent state for the Biafra nation, and securing the release of their hitherto detained leader Nnamdi Kanu, whom until April last year, was incarcerated by the Nigerian government since October 2015.
However, after the violence and monstrosity unleashed on IPOB by Nigerian security operatives, they left in their trail, eleven dead Biafrans which later rose to twenty as events unfolded, with over 63 of its members detained in various prison facilities across the State.
Media personnel were not exempted in the brutal attack as a journalist working with The Authority Newspaper, Mr. Willy Etim, reported that his camera was destroyed by a soldier during the IPOB rally, adding that he was also hit with the butt of the gun.
According to a statement issued by IPOB’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Comrade Emma Powerful, the barbaric attack was carried out by the police, the army and the Department of State Services, beside First Artillery junction, Port-Hacourt.
“They have attacked our people; 20 have been confirmed dead, many others have bullet wounds”, he claimed in the statement.
However, a year after, surviving victims of the terror attack, have neither obtained justice nor has U.S President Donald Trump publicly condemned the mayhem unleashed on peaceful and defenseless Biafrans even as some of them are yet to fully recuperate from the injuries sustained during the attack.
An IPOB member(name withheld) who sustained various degrees of injuries during the rally, regretted that the US President is yet to speak out against the violent attack which claimed a lot of lives even as he noted that the Nigerian security agencies are still in the business of killing and detaining innocent and unarmed agitators in the country.
He lamented that the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu is still missing at the instance of the Nigerian army after last year’s military operation dubbed “Operation Python Dance.”
“It was a very terrible and harrowing experience during our Trump solidarity peaceful rally at the beginning of last year to mark his swearing-in ceremony as the 45th US President.
“A lot of us were killed and severely injured during the rally. I lost some of my colleagues to the cold hands of the Nigerian army. Many of our people were detained. And since then, apart from the Amnesty International who condemned the killings, the perpetrators of these crimes has not been brought to book,” he said.
Another victim identified as Chigozie Okoroafor who sustained a leg injury and also one of those detained, called on the world leaders to, as a matter of urgency, interfere in the inhumane treatment and subjugation of Biafrans in Nigeria.
According to him, “We are no longer looking at the already compromised judicial system in Nigeria because we know that justice can never be served
“Nigeria is not a country where the oppressed and manhandled people can easily get justice because the powers that be can never allow such to happen. That is why we always appeal to international community to intervene in our situation. Biafrans are sick and tired of Nigeria and they are set to break loose any moment from now.”
Meanwhile, following the killings that marred the event during the event last year, one of the leaders of IPOB in Igweocha, who identified himself as Amaechi Okoroafor, said no amount of intimidation, killings and arrest would stop Biafra’s independence, including the proscription of IPOB.
He expressed regret on the action of security agents, adding that the shooting was not necessary since the rally was peaceful.
Describing Biafra as a formidable force that cannot be stopped by the action of Federal Government, the IPOB leader said, “I am a Biafran from Abia State in Biafraland. Last year January 20, we embarked on a solidarity rally in support of Donald Trump and our leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
“We are on a 21 million-man-march protest. The Federal Government has been disturbing us. By His grace, we are formidable and no amount of killing and arrest, not even the proscription of IPOB, will stop us from agitating for Biafra. We will continue to support our leader, Nnamdi Kanu and Trump.”
However, after the brutal and irrational killing of number of unarmed agitators, the Nigerian security agencies continued to deny the unfortunate incident and refused to accept the responsibility of its activities despite an official report from an international human rights body, Amnesty International, detailing the analysis of the heinous killings of defenseless Biafra citizens by the combined team of the Nigerian security operatives.
As the brutal killings, molestation, intimidation, torture and unlawful detention of Biafrans languishing in various detention facilities across Nigeria, the question on the lips of many is when will justice be served on the oppressed people of Biafra?