May 10, 2021

IPOB, Biafra: 4 arrested Newspaper vendors freed in Imo

…We are ready to partner with security operatives to tackle insecurity – Imo vendors

By Chinonso Alozie, Owerri

Four out of the five vendors have regained their freedom, after they were arrested by security operatives in the early hours of Monday, at Rotobi street by Douglas road in Owerri, Imo state.

Vanguard gathered in Owerri, that their release came after investigation on them was said to have been concluded by security operatives at the time of filing this report.

Until the release, their arrest was linked to the selling of newsletters, pamphlets alleged to have contained “inimical” information produced by Pro-Biafra groups, of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.

Since then, vendors have been in fears in the state, as none of them was seen selling the Biafra newsletters for over a week, the drama has heightened tension around the area as residents took cover to prevent being arrested.

It should be recalled that, sometime last week, the sales representative of New telegraph, Mr. Chuks Ugwuibe was arrested and uptilll now has not been released. He is reportedly still in detention. He was arrested at Orlu local government area of Imo state.

Also read: Bauchi: Insecurity gives my government concern — Gov Mohammed

In another development, the Nigeria Newspapers Distribution Association, Imo state chapter said that they are ever ready to partner with the security operatives on how to curb insecurity in the state.

The Chairman, Ikechukwu Tasie, made this statement in Owerri while condemning the arrest of five of his members in early hours on Monday, at Rotobi streets.

He said: “The harassment of our members started last two weeks, I have made efforts to reach out to the government to know what we the vendors can do in partnership with the government about the insecurity situation in the state.

“If the government is saying don’t sell this particular paper because of insecurity let us know let us interface and how to solve this whole issue. However, we condemned what happened on the arrest of our members, do you know that even the government-owned newspapers, Statesman newspapers were confiscated.”

“As a result of this, we will be going on strike from tomorrow, Tuesday. We expected the security agencies to write to us if there is any paper they don’t want us to sell they let us know. We have a union and there is a leader when things like this happen you write to us so that we meet and interface to know the solution,” Tasie said.

Vanguard News Nigeria