Protests spearheaded by youths have continued to build up south-east and south-south states of Nigeria over the continued detention of pro-Biafra secessionists.
The restive youths have threatened to shut down oil production, which is confined largely to the two regions, if the detainees are not released within seven days.Specifically, the protesters demand the immediate and unconditional release of the Radio Biafra director, Mr Nnamdi Kanu, who could face trial for treasonable felony.He is also accused of operating a pirate radio station.
Rebel stateThe secession of the Igbo people of south-east Nigeria and the creation of the rebel state of Biafra sparked off the bloody 1967-70 Nigerian civil war which claimed nearly two million lives.Mr Kanu was arrested in October and accused of using Radio Biafra to air “hate and divisive messages” and to reigniting the call for secession.The protests over Mr Kanu’s detention have particularly hit Anambra, Abia, Rivers and Delta States.
However, many non-Igbo nationalities in Delta and Rivers states have distanced themselves from the pro-Biafra clamour. Worried by the widening dimension the protests are assuming, the umbrella body of Igbo socio-cultural organisations, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, meet with leaders of the protest groups on Wednesday, as did the governors of the south-eastern states.However nothing concrete came out of the two meetings.The protests have seriously affected operations of many trading markets in the region.
SOURCE: AFRICA REVIEW