Buhari hosts Igbo leaders day after bloody pro-Biafra rallies

A day after bloody pro-Biafra rallies in parts of the South East, President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday met with some leaders from the region at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

The 18-man delegation, led by former Senate President Ken Nnamani, included All Progressives Congress (APC) National Auditor George Moghalu; Senators Ifeanyi Ararume and Osita Izunaso, and former House of Reps member Sharon Ikeazor, and former Executive Vice-Chairman of Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) Ernest Ndukwe.

Also in the team were the APC National Vice-Chairman (South East), Emma Eneukwu; Chief Austin Edeze; Dr. Uzoma Obiyo and Mr. Chris Akomas.

The leaders arrived in a bus belonging to the Ken Nnamani Leadership Institute. They met privately with the President under the aegis of Southeast Group for Change. The delegation declined to speak with reporters at the end of the meeting.

As he walked past reporters, Nnamani only replied to the question on whether Biafra came up for discussion during the meeting with: “No, no, not now.”

No official statement was issued on the meeting.

Protesters demanding a separate state for the Igbo took to the streets on Monday to commemorate the 49th anniversary of the declaration of an independent Republic of Biafra on May 30, 1967.

The protests shook Onitsha, Owerri, Aba, Abakaliki, Enugu, Asaba and Port Harcourt.

Police said officers opened fire on Monday because members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) shot at security forces deployed to monitor the rallies – a claim denied by the groups.

Two policemen and five protesters were killed in Asaba.

The military said soldiers were injured in Onitsha where it confirmed the death of five protesters.