Why I Was Arrested – Chido Onumah
A prominent journalist and human rights activist who was arrested on Sunday evening said he was told that his arrest was because he wore a shirt with the inscription: ‘ We Are All Biafrans.’
The Nigerian Voice had earlier reported how Mr Onumah was arrested at the airport upon his arrival from Euro and his subsequent release after five hours with the DSS.
He was arrested at about 5:00 p.m. on Sunday and released about five hours later.
He arrived via a Lufthansa airline and was waiting for his luggage when SSS officials accosted him.
Mr Onumah spoke to newsmen after his release on Sunday night.
“I was arrested for wearing the T-shirt because the SSS said it is capable of causing disaffection in the country.
”They said some people had issues and had contacted them (SSS) whether I was a part of a group that was planning against the country,” he said.
The inscription on Mr Onumah’s shirt, We Are All Biafrans, is the title of a book he wrote about Nigeria.
The book, a collection of essays by the journalist, focused on the need to restructure Nigeria in order to be able to build a united country.
Biafra is also the name the South-eastern part of Nigeria adopted during the Nigerian civil war, 1967-1970. There are still many individuals and groups in the South-east clamouring for an independent Biafra republic. One of them is an outlawed group, IPOB, led by a fugitive, Nnamdi Kanu.
Mr Onumah has no known links with any of the Biafran groups and has opposed the breakup of Nigeria, calling instead for a restructured country where power is devolved to its constituent parts.