Sunday, 30 July 2017

Anambra 2017: war looms as IPOB disrupts burial ceremony

By Okechukwu Onuegbu

Ihiala community in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State were on weekend, threw into shock as over one hundred youths suspected to be members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), stormed the burial ceremony venue of late Pa Francis Oguanobi, chanting “There will be no election in Anambra. Anambra is Biafra land.”

Late Pa Ogunanobi, who died at the age of 90, is the father of Mrs Nneka Ezeemo, wife of Mr Godwin Ezeemo, Gubernatorial candidate of Progressives People Alliance (PPA) on Anambra November 18 Governorship poll.

The youths, who came with Biafran flags and other paraphernalia chanting war songs brought the event to an abrupt end forcing Ezeemo, his wife, other family members of the deceased and guests at the occasion to took to their heels abandoning burial events and properties. recalls that late Pa Francis Oguanobi was one of the prominent Biafrans that sourced for relief materials for Biafrans during the Nigerian Civil War.

However, the irate youths, on invading the venue, snatched microphone from the musician entertaining the large crowd of mourners, slapping the MC to submission when he attempted resistance.

Speaking to the press, where she had fled by her security, Mrs Nneka Ezeemo, the last daughter of the deceased, recalled that she had similar experience in a community in Ogbaru Local Government in the hands of a similar group who claim they are IPOB members when she went with her husband and daughter to worship with a Pentecostal church.

"Is my husband (Godwin Chukwunaenye Ezeemo) now a target for these people that he can no longer hold decent public events without being interrupted rudely by these ones?" she asked rhetorically.

Mr Godwin Ezeemo, on his part, appreciated God for saving him and his family from sustaining any physical injury while decrying the state of the system in Anambra State, the Southeast and Nigeria at large that the youths are so disenchanted and are advocating for utter civil disobedience.

"I wish these youths will understand that the primary need of Igbo land is to enthrone good leadership. I wish they will understand that I am here to make things right for them and restore their belief in themselves and in the system.

"I am deeply pained at the rate our youths are being abused as they seek for greener pastures. Many of them die in the middle of the desert as they make their way to other societies where they stand better chance of surviving and where their efforts are better appreciated," he said.

On his part, an Ihiala elder, Chief Okeke Oba, lamented that Ihiala Elders considered the group's act as antithetical to the Igbo core values which he said was tantamount to desecration of the dead with dire consequences attached to it.

Sources, however told that the group thought that Ezeemo was conducting a political rally, having recently won the PPA party primary held last two week Saturday.



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