SAN FRANCISCO, November 07, (THEWILL) – Pro-Biafra protesters on Friday shut down traffic at the ever-busy Benin-Asaba expressway Friday as they staged a massive protest over the continued detention of the Director of Radio Biafra, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu.
The protesters who first converged on Agbor, moved to Asaba in a motorcade, causing heavy traffic gridlock which forced motorists to stay on the queue for quite a long period.
The protesters mainly youths were bare- chested adorning their heads and left arms with palm leaves while chanting solidarity songs. Similar protest of this nature was held a few weeks ago in Asaba.
The protesters said the continuous detention of Radio Biafia Director was uncalled for and totally unacceptable, insisting that they were no longer comfortable with the Nigerian government.
THEWILL however learnt that the protesters were dispersed around 6pm at Summit Junction on the Benin-Asaba-Onitsha expressway after several failed attempt to stop them. Security operatives allegedly used tear gas to disperse the protesters while a handful of them were arrested.
But one source close to the state Commissioner of Police told local correspondent that the Command was averse to detaining Biafran agitators, adding that the Police Command was exploring the best possible ways to handle the situation.
An earlier attempt by a section of the protesters to gain access into the Government House was foiled by security operatives who were on guard in Asaba. No official of the state government was available to address them.
One of the protesters who spoke with local press, Victor Nwoha, said the protest became necessary to secure the release of Kanu, adding “we have suffered enough in the hands of the Nigerian government and we are no more comfortable with it.”
He stated further: “We want our freedom, that is why we are here. We are not comfortable with the Nigerian government, the intimidation, killing and all that; that is why we want our freedom. We feel very bad about his detention and it is affecting each and every one of us. We are not comfortable, we want to go.
“The federal government should release our Director, Dr. Nnamdi Kanu, and we also want our freedom. As a nation that is due for freedom, we want to go; we are tired; the suffering is too much; it is not a crime to want our freedom; we want to go.”
Another protester, Chineye Udeoba, said the detention of Kanu has brought bitterness to the people of Biafra, warning that he should be released without further delay.
“We are not Nigerians, we are Biafrans. My father is 72 years old and he is older than Nigeria. He is a Biafrian, I am a Biafran and we all here are Biafrans. We the indigenous people of Biafra are ready to go. We want to be on our own.”
“The British came and amalgamated us with these Oduduwa and Arewa people, we are not one; we were never one, we are totally different in terms of tradition. We want to be on our own. We want our freedom,” Udeoba said.
Speaking, another protester who gave her name as Mrs. Judith Ihebiehi told journalists that the detained Kanu was the voice of Biafra, insisting that it was wrong for the Nigerian government to detain him as he did nothing to merit the punishment.
“Have they ever asked themselves if what this man has been saying is false? Have they bothered to verify what Nnamdi Kanu has been saying? So detaining Nnamdi Kanu will bring problems.”
“Our reason of coming here is to tell the people of Delta State about the suffering of our people in the hands of the Federal Government,” she said.