The Police Command in Anambra said 14 suspected Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) members had been arrested in Onitsha over alleged illegal procession. Mrs Nkeiruka Nwode, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, made the disclosure in an interview with newsmen in Onitsha on Tuesday.
Nwode said that the arrests were carried out in different parts of the town during a procession by the group to mark 17 years of its existence. She explained that the persons were arrested for illegal procession, adding that no life was lost in the confusion that followed the arrest of the members.
However, Religious Administrator of MASSOB, Rev. Apostle Ezichukwu, claimed that more than 50 members were arrested, with 20 missing and one person allegedly shot by the police. Ezichukwu, who said that the procession was peaceful, wondered why the police arrested members of the group.
He alleged that security personnel from the Army, Police, Navy and NSCDC were detaining MASSOB members at the Army Barracks, Onitsha, police headquarters, Awka and other police stations. Also speaking, the Anambra North Zonal Leader of MASSOB, Mr Benjamin Omenka, appealed for the release of those arrested and urged members of the group to be patient.
According to him, the present call for restructuring by some segments of the country came as a result of the fear for Biafra independence by those who have tied the country down. “Let the whole world know that we are resolute in our stand for a Biafra Republic.
“It is not compulsory that we shall remain one indivisible nation, so they should allow us to go to our Promised Land,” he said, adding that the agitation would remain a peaceful one.