The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) staged a demonstration today in front of Downing Street, London, near the official residence of UK Prime Minister David Cameron.
The protesters demanded the release of their leader Nnamdi Kanu, who has been detained in Nigeria since he was arrested in Lagos on 17 October. They also chanted for “freedom” of Biafra from Nigeria.
Watch the protests here:
The IPOB are “demanding their freedom and self-determination” according to a flyer distributed at the demonstration. It claims IPOB “in defence of freedom, are set to restore their homeland. The British amalgamation expired in 2013, which resulted in Nigeria killing Biafran women/children (Christians) in their millions and counting. Please support our freedom from BOKO HARAM slaughtering our people. Biafrans have the right to live.”
Protests about Kanu’s arrest and demanding “freedom” from Nigeria have erupted across southeast Nigeria in the past week.
The Downing Street protest lasted for about four hours, with speeches and war songs being chanted. Although the IPOB claimed that they planned to submit a petition to David Cameron, our reporter didn’t witness it, as the gates leading up to Number 10 Downing Street remained locked with armed police standing guard. The protests took place on the other side of Whitehall – across the road from the Downing Street gate.
At one point, police on that side tried to stop the protesters from blocking the pavement and preventing pedestrians from passing through. This led to some friction with irate protesters who shouted at the police that they were demonstrating peacefully and should be allowed to do so. The police reluctantly allowed them to continue blocking the pavement with their dancing and stomping.
A source at the scene claimed that their momentum has been on the rise since Kanu’s arrest and they can’t be denied Biafra. He claimed that the arrest has led Biafran supporters in the US donating $1m to the cause.