LEADER of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Chief Ralph Uwazurike has said there is no going back on the agitation for Biafra, in spite of being quizzed by the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of zone 9 over the activities of the movement yesterday.
Armed Policemen of the Imo State Police Command had stormed the private home of the MASSOB leader in Owerri, the Imo State capital on Sunday night and arrested 50 members of the group on guard duty.
But the MASSOB leader who voluntarily turned himself in on the invitation of the Police apparent- ly on the orders of the Inspector General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, was immediately whisked away to the Zone 9 headquarters in Umuahia, shortly after a closed door meeting with the State Commissioner of Police, Taiwo Lakanu.
The State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Andrew Enwerem, said the MASSOB leader was summoned by the Police authority over the activities of his group. “MASSOB is an outlawed group and the same thing goes with their activities; so his invitation was not unconnected to that. Yes, he reported at the state Command headquarters this morning from where he was moved to see the AIG in charge of Zone 9,” the police said.
However, briefing journalists at his residence after he was released, Uwauzurike said, that “there is no going back on the struggle for Biafra.”
According to him, “I was not at home on Saturday when I got a call that Policemen have invaded my home. In the morning, I got a letter from the Imo State Commissioner of Police. I reported in the morning and he told me that he does not want MASSOB in the state but he cannot stop us. I was taken to Umuahia to see the AIG.
“At Umuahia, the AIG vouched that he has known me and my non-violent stance on the struggle for Biafra. There is no going back on Biafra and anyone that does not want MASSOB should leave Igbo land.”
The MASSOB leader, however, distanced his group from the activities of other splinter groups that have engaged in criminal activities, noting that, “no MASSOB man has ever been caught for stealing, kidnapping, raping and other crimes. We are non-violent but no one can stop Biafra.”
However, the Police has denied that any MASSOB members was in their custody.
…Arrest him, risk anarchy, group tells FG
From Emmanuel Uzor, Abakaliki
MOVEMENT for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, yesterday decried the recent invasion of Chief Ralph Uwazuruike’s house and threatened that any further attempt to arrest or intimidate him will spark crisis in the country.
Zonal leader of MASSOB in charge of Ebonyi North zone, Mr. Gideon Iloke said they would resist further attacks and intimidation of their members by security agencies adding that their leader, Chief Uwazuruike must not be arrested.
He warned that the recent attempt to “kill our leader by policemen in Owerri” during a raid in which no fewer than 50 members of MASSOB were arrested was condemnable. He restated readiness of the group to resist further police intimidation and harassments.
“We have watched with amusement the recent invasion of the privacy of our leader by the Nigerian police and we have to put the record straight that henceforth, MASSOB shall no longer watch its members brutalized and killed by faceless agents of death working for the Nigerian government. We warn the Nigerian government to leave MASSOB alone as we are committed to the cause of actualising the sovereign state of Biafra,” he said.