Soldiers Arrest Veteran Nollywood Actor, Chiwetalu Agu, For Donning Biafra Colours
Officers of the Nigerian Army have reportedly arrested veteran Nollywood actor, Chiwetalu Agu, for wearing Biafra colours. The 65-year-old movie icon was allegedly manhandled and whisked away by soldiers on Wednesday at Upper Iweka Bridge in Onitcha, Anambra State.
According to eyewitnesses, the elderly actor donned the red-black-green colours of Biafra and was in the city to distribute food and relief materials to the less privileged when the incident happened. In a video making the rounds on social media, two soldiers can be seen approaching Agu and then wrestling him to the ground before bundling him into their vehicle and driven away.
“He was sharing food with some less privileged persons at Upper Iweka when the soldiers approached him and arrested him,” an eyewitness revealed. “He was manhandled and arrested and taken to their barracks.”
Close sources said the actor always comes to Onitsha to give charity to the poor; and that he is also sympathetic to the Biafra struggle for self-determination. He has always spoken out in support of the Igbo nation and criticised the federal government for marginalising the South-East peoples of Nigeria.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Anambra State, Ikenga Tochukwu, confirmed news of Agu’s arrest but noted that the police do not have details of his offence.
A notable Nollywood actor who did not want his name in print said he spoke with a military source who confirmed that Agu is in their custody. He condemned the military for arresting Agu and said the actions of the soldiers threatened the peace of the state.
“Chinwetara Agu likes identifying with anything Biafra, particularly their muffler,” the source said. “A military friend just called me some minutes ago informing me about the development. He said he’s [Agu] currently in their custody.”
Given the insurrections of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and the security challenges in Anambra and other South-East states, the military has prohibited the wearing of Biafra colours and use of its flag.
The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, said the federal government might consider declaring a state of emergency in Anambra if the recent spate of violence in the state continues. The governorship election for the state is billed to hold in November.