20 arrested as pro-Biafra activists attack Igbo leaders in Enugu
About 20 Biafran agitators, suspected to be members of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra, were on Tuesday arrested by the Police in Enugu.
The development followed protests by the IPOB members at an event organised by a pan-Igbo group to honour some Igbo personalities, including first President of Nigeria, late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe.
The event had proceeded smoothly until one of the Igbo leaders spoke of the need to restructure Nigeria along regional lines.
The development apparently angered the agitators, who interrupted the speaker, insisting that “It is Biafra or nothing else.”
Attempts by the organisers of the event to reason with the secessionists were not successful.
The activists became violent when it was announced that Azikiwe was to be given a posthumous award for his efforts towards sustaining the unity of the country.
The announcement angered the pro-Biafran agitators, who voiced their condemnation of Azikiwe’s ‘nationalistic politics.’
In loud voices, they blamed Azikiwe for the current travails of the Igbos in Nigeria, even as they insisted on secession.
Efforts by the organisers of the event to subdue the irate youths was met with violence, as the agitators stormed the high table, and attacked some of the dignitaries.
The Igbo leaders ran away from the venue of the event as the agitators threw stones and other objects at the vehicles that conveyed the dignitaries.
Several cars were damaged.
Confirming the arrest, spokesman of Enugu State Police Command, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu, said “no fewer than 11 were apprehended by the Police.”
Amaraizu said the suspects would be arraigned in court.