President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to the White House on Monday was greeted with pro-Biafra protests.
The pro-Biafra activists clashed with Buhari’s hired supporters just before he went to the White House to meet with President Donald Trump. The hired supporters then clashed among themselves when it was time to share the money.
As things escalated right outside the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C., the Secret Service had to designate a line to separate both sides.
Pro-Biafra activists, who are mainly Igbo from Southeastern Nigeria, have been agitating for independence since President Muhammadu Buhari, 75, returned to power in 2015.
As the protests gained more support in 2016 in Nigeria, Mr. Buhari ordered security forces to return normalcy and apprehend their leader, Nnamdi Kanu. Many pro-Biafra activists were arrested, tortured and killed, according to Amnesty International and several other human rights organizations.
Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People’s of Biafra (IPOB) disappeared in strange circumstances after an attack by security forces to his house. Nothing has been heard about him since then.
Outside the White House, pro-Biafra activists, who are trying to break up from Nigeria, after the first attempt failed and triggered a civil war between 1967 and 1970, leading to the death of almost two million Igbo, asked Trump not to roll the red carpet for a criminal.
They said Buhari is a terrorist or the sponsor of a terror organization known as Boko Haram. Buhari has repeatedly denied having any link to Boko Haram, although the West African killers once chose him to represent them during negotiations with the Nigerian government.
So loud were the protesters that Americans and tourists stopped by to watch what looked like a riot. The Secrete Service and the Police guarded Mr. Buhari’s residence. He lives at the Blair House, a famous house that once hosted an American President when the White House was burned down.
Some of the hired supporters did not know why they were there. One told this medium he’s from Togo, another one, an African American said she just came to support her family but did not know much about what was going on.
Simon Ateba Reporting