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May 30: Ohanaeze Not Aware Of Biafra Heroes Day – Iwuanyanwu

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The President-General of the apex-Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, said on Tuesday that the organisation had not received a formal notice of the Biafra Heroes Day being planned by the separatist Indigenous People of Biafra.

IPOB had declared that May 30 would be a sit-at-home day across the five South-East states to honour the memories of Igbo people who died during the civil war of 1967 to 1970.

The separatist group said there would be restriction on movements and businesses would not open in the region on May 30.

In a statement on Tuesday by its spokesman, Emma Powerful, IPOB reiterated that May 30 date remained sacrosanct.

When contacted on the phone on whether Ohanaeze, as the apex Igbo body was being carried along, its President, Iwuanyanwu, said he had yet to see IPOB statement.

“I have yet to see the statement, but somebody has drawn my attention to it and when I get it, I will study it, call me back in two days’ time to react,” Iwuanyanwu told our correspondent.

But a chieftain of the organisation, who craved anonymity because of the sensitive nature of IPOB issues generate in the region, expressed unhappiness at the directive, describing it as counter-productive to the region.

He said, “We are not against the celebration of Biafran Day, but the truth is that the frequent sit-at-home is causing damage to the region in many ways. How will our children taking WASSCE move to their examination hall on that day? What it means is that two days have been knocked off from the people this week. On Monday, people were locked down, and now Thursday has been declared again.

“You know issues that have to do with IPOB are very sensitive to delve into, that is why prominent people have been silent on this issue of sit-at-home. Recently, we read the reports that the police operatives arrested some people carrying a bag of ammunition which they said were meant to enforce sit-at-home.

“This is not a good development. We can only urge the security agencies to fortify the security in public places and our children writing exams on that day should be protected; extra security should be provided at the examination halls to avoid hoodlums hijacking the situation to perpetrate any dastardly act.”

The police spokesman in Anambra, SP Tochukwu Ikenga, when contacted, told residents to go about their normal business while assuring them of adequate security of their lives and property.

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IPOB had earlier specifically directed the West African Examination Council and the authorities of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka to shift their respective engagements earlier scheduled for the day, while declaring the day as a day to celebrate its fallen heroes during the civil war between 1967 and 1970.

The pro-Biafran group, in a statement signed by its spokesman, on Tuesday, said the remembrance of those who fought for Biafra freedom and sovereignty remained imperative, and no government or security agency had any authority to harass any innocent person during the May 30 event.

Powerful stated that all social activities in Biafra Land were banned, while markets, schools, banks, government, and private businesses were not allowed to open, adding that the entire South-East would be on lockdown from 6 am to 6 pm on that day.

He said, “The global family IPOB wishes to remind every person resident in Biafra territory that 30th May 2024 sit-at-home in commemoration of Biafra Heroes Day is sacrosanct and we are obliged everyone to abide by this order, its only one day, only Thursday May 30 2024 no other day.

“As long as Biafra Land is concerned, IPOB remains a very important state actor on the issues concerning Biafra. The remembrance of all those who fought for Biafra freedom and sovereignty remains imperative, and no government or security agency has any authority to harass any innocent person during that event.

“We are urging all state governors in Biafra Land to ensure the safety of persons and properties on that day. The students for WAEC on that day must put on their school uniform to identify themselves as WAEC candidates. We are not involved in criminal activities going on and we cannot stop our children from taking their exams.

“The Federal Government must understand that they cannot slaughter our heroes and, at the same time, stop us from mourning or remembering them. Those who died in the defense of our land from the extermination agenda of Nigeria and British governments during the genocidal war of 1967- 1970 are worthy to be remembered and celebrated.

“Annually, we must continue to celebrate our heroes and heroines. Moreso, the Federal Government and its murderous security agencies must stop reminding us of the genocide they carried out against innocent Biafran children, women, and men. The Nigeria/British genocide against Biafrans will never be forgotten by generations of Biafrans yet unborn.

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“In this year’s ‘Biafran Heroes Remembrance Day’, all social activities in Biafra Land are banned. Markets, schools, banks, government, and private businesses are not allowed to open. All transport services, air, sea and land transport are not allowed to operate.

“The entire Biafra land will be on lockdown from 6 am to 6 pm on May 30, 2024. Exceptions to these directives are institutions and individuals on critical special duties such as nurses, doctors, ambulance services, fire services, hospitals, medical workers, and journalists. The sit-at-home is only one day, those peddling falsehood that IPOB declared three days sit-at-home are criminals.

“IPOB is an upright movement and we cannot ibe nvolved in criminality or put our people under hard conditions. IPOB is responsible for one day sit-at-home in Biafra territory, not two or three days.

“However, we understand that some criminal elements will use the opportunity of the event to harass people. That is why IPOB is urging our people to sit at home on 30th May 2024 because the Federal Government and the enemies of Biafra will attack them and claim they are IPOB and ESN.

“We don’t want anybody to die or lose property because of this event. IPOB declared only 30th May sit-at-home. Our people should use other days to gather what they will need on May 30 to avoid being victims to the violent Nigeria Agents and after that day 30th May sit-at-home you are free to move around and go anywhere you wish to go.

Those criminal elements that have decided to hijack the peaceful event to torment the citizens on 30th May will meet their Waterloo.”

The group stated that all Biafran heroes and heroines must be remembered, including Bruce Mayrock from the USA, who sacrificed his youthful age for Biafrans

“We remember and honour General Phillip Efiong, Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Air raid Achuzie, Dr Frank Opigo, General Umunnakwe, Thomas Aguiyi Ironsi, Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu, and many others who contributed immensely for us to live.

“Biafrans in the diaspora are advised to go and obtain permits to rally in their respective countries. We must tell the world the story of the Biafra genocidal war and the resilience of Biafran heroes. Our people must understand that Biafra is coming. We have crossed the Rubicon, and nothing will make us change our mind or diminish our resolve towards this fight for Biafra liberation” the statement added.

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