On Sunday, members of the Biafra Zionists Federation on Sunday threatened to commit “mass suicide” due to the uncertainty over the whereabouts of their leader, Benjamin Onwuka.
Onwuka and some members of the group were arrested on August 20th while trying to occupy the Enugu State Government House, where they planned to declare the ‘independence’ of the Republic of Biafra from Nigeria.
The secessionists were arrested by the police and the Department of State Services as they approached the gate to the Government House.
The BZF leader’s whereabouts has remained unknown ever since. In a statement on Sunday, National Coordinator of the BZF, Gilbert Ogbu, said the group had waited in vain for the DSS to either release their leader or charge him to court. Ogbu warned that the Biafra Zionists would commit mass suicide within seven days if Onwuka was not released or taken to court.
The secessionists plan to occupy major roads in the South-East where they will be crushed by moving vehicles, according to Ogbu. The statement read,
“…we want to further inform Nigerians and the international community over the unlawful detention of our leader, Benjamin Onwuka, by the DSS. It is now over two months and they have refused to charge him to court, contrary to the provisions of Nigeria’s constitution, which says nobody should be detained beyond 24 hours. More worrisome is the silence of the security agencies, the South-East governors and Ohanaeze Ndigbo, we are beginning to think that there is a collaboration among them. We are issuing a seven-day ultimatum, after which we have no option but to commit suicide. We shall occupy all the roads in the South-East and either get crushed by vehicles or have ourselves killed by security forces.”
Editors note: Wars are not won by dying for ones cause. Wars are won by making the other side die for their cause.
The statement continues,
“We are drawing the attention of the international community, especially the United Nations, the Amnesty International, the United States and Israel to the oppressive tendencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria. We have our right to self-determination as provided for in all international treaties and we are not ready to sacrifice it”.
What Is Biafra?
Biafra, officially the Republic of Biafra, was a secessionist state in south-eastern Nigeria that existed from 30 May 1967 to 15 January 1970, taking its name from the Bight of Biafra. The inhabitants were mostly the Igbo people who led the secession due to economic, ethnic, cultural and religious tensions among the various peoples of Nigeria.
The creation of the new country was among the causes of the Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Nigerian-Biafran War. Land of the Rising Sun was chosen for Biafra’s national anthem, and the state was formally recognised by Gabon, Haiti, Côte d’Ivoire, Tanzania and Zambia.
Other nations which did not give official recognition but which did provide support and assistance to Biafra included Israel, France, Portugal, Rhodesia, South Africa and the Vatican City.
Biafra also received aid from non-state actors, including Joint Church Aid, Holy Ghost Fathers of Ireland, Caritas International, MarkPress and U.S. Catholic Relief Services.
After two-and-a-half years of war, during which a million civilians died in fighting and from famine, Biafran forces agreed to a ceasefire with the Nigerian Federal Military Government, and Biafra was reintegrated into Nigeria.
However, the movement is still alive and well today.
Where Does The Pan-African Alliance Stand On The Issue Of Biafra
The mission of the Pan-African Alliance is, in part, the establishment of a United States of Africa. That mission will never be achieved if every group with grievances attempts to segregate itself.
While we sympathize with the plight of the Biafrans, the Pan-African Alliance advocates fewer – not more – borders in Africa.