London — Imo State governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha's speech at the Royal Institute of International Affairs - Chatham House - was yesterday held up for over thirty minutes by a lone pro-Biafran agitator, who had to be wrestled out of the venue after initially holding up the event for more than twenty minutes.
The drama began seconds after the governor had been introduced by the occasion's chair, Dame Sally Keeble. Unknown to both the governor's entourage of about 10 and the organisers, two protesters were among the audience and as soon as Okorocha took to the podium and even before he could finish the first sentence, the two stood up and headed in his direction, waving the Biafran flag and talking over the shocked but composed governor.
Among others, they were asking the governor: "Why are you killing our people? The killings of our people cannot continue," as they waved flags and disrupted the smooth take off of proceedings at about 12.40pm. Although the governor's aides and Chatham House staff managed to get one of them out of the hall, the other, who was inches away from the governor refused, insisting he had to speak, with Okorocha appealing to his reason, but to no avail.
Okorocha managed to stay composed and asked that the lone protester be allowed to make his point, but the Biafran activist pushed his luck beyond belief, much to the annoyance of the audience. Looking each other eyeball-to-eyeball and conversing with the governor in Igbo, he still insisted he wouldn't sit nor be quiet, even when the governor said he should be given the front seat and that he would address their concerns during his speech.