Posted by News Express | 6 July 2014 | 4,424 times
No fewer than 220 members of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), including leader of the group, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, were yesterday arrested by the soldiers at a check-point at Okigwe, Imo State. Their offence: The putting on of Biafran uniform.
While Uwazuruike was later released when one Captain Ola, leader of the soldiers, arrived at the scene of the incident, his 220 members who were there to felicitate with him at the award ceremony were taken to an unknown destination.
Reacting to the development after his release, Uwazuruike vowed that they would not be intimidated, reiterating MASSOB’s determination to emancipate Ndigbo and enthrone a Sovereign State of Biafra.
A report on the incident in Sunday Sun said the arrest took place while the MASSOBians were on their way to Monobil Hotel, Okigwe, where members of Okigwe Zonal Youth Conference had organised an honour award for Uwazuruike for his efforts to emancipate Ndigbo.
Uwazuruike told Sun that he did not know where his men had been taken by the soldiers but promised to go to the Okigwe office of the army to look for them and seek their release after the award ceremony.
He regretted that the army and police had continued to harass MASSOB members even when they have not constituted any security breach.
News Express reports that MASSOB has remained non-violent since it started the campaign for Biafra’s restoration in September 1999. Biafra was the separatist state declared in 1967 by the then Eastern Region but which surrendered to the Nigerian federal forces in 1970 to end one of the world’s worst civil wars that consumed about a million mainly Igbo lives.
•Photo shows MASSOB Leader Uwazuruike.
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