By Jethro Ibileke/Umuahia
Traditional rulers from across the South-South and South-East regions converged in Umuahia on Friday, to pay their last respect to His Royal Highness, Israel Okwu Kanu and his wife, Ugoeze Meme Sally, the late parents of the leader of the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
Adorned in their respective royal regalia, the traditional rulers were assembled under a canopy, just in front of the late Monarch’s residence, located along HRH Eze Kanu Crescent.
They include kings from Okpobo, Nembe and Ogoni in Rivers State; Ijaw, Isoko and Kwale in Delta state.
Others were top traditional rulers from Cross River and Akwa Ibom states, who were on ground to wish the departed Monarch farewell.
They all admitted that their respective kingdoms were party of the Biafra territory.
There were also royal fathers from the five states making the South-East region, namely, Imo, Anambra, Enugu, Abia and Ebonyi states.
Stern-looking security operatives are lined up at Factory Road that leads to the venue of the burial ceremony.
Two Hilux Vans were stationed at the Eze Kanu Crescent junction, while an armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) and other security vans patrol the entire area.
Speaking with our correspondent, Eze Ejike Gideon, from Imo state, described the departed king as “a good and honest ruler.”
He dispelled insinuations that everything about Biafra was evil.
“We are a peaceful people. God made us for peace and we are for peace. We don’t want fighting, we don’t have guns or machetes to fight anyone.
“Biafra existed long before. It is real and I urge them to give us Biafra,” he said.
Other traditional rulers spoke glowingly of the departed king.