BY UGOCHUKWU ALARIBE
ABA- Over 50 members of the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign States of Biafra,MASSOB, have been arrested by the Police in Aba, Abia State.
MASSOB had declared May 22 to celebrate the rededication of Biafra by Chief Ralph Uwazuruike at 175 Faults road Aba on May 22,2000.
It was gathered that the MASSOB members were arrested at Osisioma Ngwa junction along the Enugu -Port Harcourt expressway when Police patrol teams numbering over 15 fired tear gas canister at them.
MASSOB Leader for Abia South zone,Fred Onyenaucheya, who condemned the arrest of the Biafra activists, insisted that MASSOB will not be cowed by the clampdown on its members.
He said,” MASSOB is a non violent organization.We are shocked that Police could tear gas and arrest our members who were only celebrating the rededication of the new Biafra. As at now ,over 20 of our members are receiving medical attention for injuries they sustained during the Police attack .
Even our female members were not spared.We have about 50 MASSOB members arrested by the Police.This is a grave infringement of our right to freedom of movement.But we assure the Nigerian government that no arrest,detention or any other form of intimidation will stop us from actualizing an independent state of Biafra.”
He called on the Police to immediately release and apologize to the detained MASSOB members as they did not commit any crime.
Efforts to get the reaction of the Abia State Commissioner of Police,Mr.Anthony Ogbizi, was unsuccessful as at the time of filing this report.