By Nwabueze Okonkwo
ONITSHA—Leader and founder of Biafra Independence Movement, BIM, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike yesterday grounded the commercial city of Onitsha, Anambra during the celebration of 18th anniversary of the formation of BIM, where he declared that Anambra state governorship election must hold.
Uwazuruike, who arrived Onitsha around 2 p.m., accompanied by a convoy of about 20 buses occupied by uniformed BIM members, was received on arrival on top of the Upper Iweka Bridge by a mammoth crowd of his followers, amidst heavy traffic jam.Ralph Uwazuruike, MASSOB leader
On arrival to Upper Iweka from Owerri, the heavy traffic forced his convoy to veer off to Obodoukwu road through Okpoko Police Station to Okpoko Junction along the expressway and then climbed to the top of the Upper Iweka Bridge where he attempted to address the crowd.
However, the crowd was so much that when he noticed that nobody was hearing him, he drove off slowly with his convoy and headed towards the Niger Bridge, while the crowd trekked along with the convoy until he stopped over at the foot of the Niger Bridge where Ojukwu’s statue was standing and he stopped to address his members.
As the convoy was moving at a snail speed, police patrol vans trailed them until Uwazuruike finished addressing the crowd and left Onitsha for Owerri around 3.30 p.m.
Before his departure, he dropped his last word which is “Election must hold in Anambra state”.
Addressing the crowd in front of Ojukwu’s statue, Uwazuruike commended his loyalists for choosing Onitsha for this year’s BIM 18th anniversary, adding that having come a long way, they have once again rekindled the burning flames of the Biafra spirit through non-violence.
According to Uwazuruike, “one of the most glaring achievements of the BIM family is that we created all the factions existing in the Biafra struggle today and their leaders. The important thing is that every one of them is talking about Biafra, irrespective of their actual intentions.
“It is however disturbing that some of these factional leaders are not following the non-violence principles as they are supposed to be. Some of these factions pretend to be non-violent but practice the reverse. The intention of some of these leaders is to cause war.
“We advise the Hausa communities in the Southeast and Southsouth not to fall to the antics of these misguided fellows. The leaders of the Hausa communiities living in the t wo regions should instruct their members not to respond to any provocation coming from these elements. They should rather report such provocations to the law enforcement agents. The strategy of these detractors is to foment trouble with the Hausa communities in these areas so that our people in the North would be attacked. They want to achieve crisis by all means.
“They recently provoked a quit notice from the Northern Youth Leaders. I travelled to the Arewa House in Kaduna to douse the tension. Their new strategy now is to attack the Hausa communities in the Southeast and Southsouth to achieve their nefarious intentions. All hands must be on deck to ensure that these evil plans did not see the light of the day.
“Without being immodest, I am the originator of the new Biafra struggle. I recruited every operator in this struggle: the good, the bad and the ugly. I introduced the principle of non-violence as the only means through which the new Biafra could be achieved. I still believe in the principle of non-violence.
“The new Biafra struggle was intended to be a long term process, backed by non-violence initiatives. There is no short cut. We are happy to announce that after 18 years, we are still in the saddle. We are stronger and more determined. We enjoin our misled comrades who followed the wrong way to trace back their steps to the original concepts. The struggle continues.”