MASSOB @ 17: Protests rock S-East as police arrest 14 at Onitsha

*1000 members intercepted in Nsukka
*Vow to continue struggle, hold rallies
*To embark on food production to tackle recession
*IPOB flays DSS for declaring Nnamdi Kanu’s wife wanted
*Forget about Biafra —Buhari By Chioma Gabriel, Vincent Ujumadu, Chidi Nkwopara, Anayo Okoli,Dennis Agbo, Chinonso Alozie, Francis Igata, Peter Okutu, Chimaobi Nwaiwu, Chinenye Ozor & Emma Una AWKA—PROTESTS by Biafra agitators rocked the major cities of South East states yesterday, leading to the arrest of 14 people at Onitsha and interception of 1000 members at Nsukka. Anambra State Police Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Nkeiruka Nwode, said those arrested, 13 males and one female, conducted themselves in a manner likely to breach the peace in Anambra State. Among those arrested was the BIM director of information for Anambra North zone, Mr. Charles Igbokwe, as he was marching towards Amazo Oil along Onitsha-Owerri road with some of the agitators. There were sporadic shootings to disperse the protesters who were chanting war songs to mark the anniversary, which led to the arrest of the 14 persons. This came as the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, vowed to continue the struggle until the Republic of Biafra was actualized. MASSOB leader, Comrade Uchenna Madu had, in a statement in Awka, said that the Biafra agitators were using the occasion of 17 years of the formation of MASSOB to remember all those who lost their lives in the course of the struggle. “Today, as we celebrate 17 years anniversary of formation of MASSOB, we remember our brothers and sisters whose lives were cut short because of Biafra in the hands of Nigeria security agents. “We remember our non violent MASSOB members who died innocently and with brave heart for the Biafra cause.

They were molested, mesmerized, humiliated and brutally killed by the armed security agents of our oppressors.” Members of the Movement for the Survival of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) during their rally to mark the 17th anniversary of the movement, yesterday, in Awka, Anambra State. Members of the Movement for the Survival of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) during their rally to mark the 17th anniversary of the movement, yesterday, in Awka, Anambra State. However, the presence of security operatives did not deter members of Chief Ralph Uwazurike –led BIM who embarked on protests in parts of Onitsha and Nnewi.

As ordered by Uwazurike, the protest was peaceful until they encountered the road blocks mounted by the Joint Security Task Force comprising of the army, police, navy, civil defense, among others, who cordoned off parts of Onitsha-Owerri road while the march lasted. 1000 intercepted in Nsukka In Nsukka, no fewer than 1000 members of MASSOB in a peaceful march marking the 17th anniversary of Biafra Independence Movement, BIM, were yesterday intercepted by combined team of army and police patrols along Ede Oballa axis of the busy Opi/Nsukka Expressway while heading to Nsukka town for the anniverary. Speaking to newsmen soon after being released, Enugu north zonal leader of MASSOB, Mr. Omeke James said that the interception by the army and police was expected by the members before they embarked on the peaceful march. Contacted for comment, Enugu State police spokesperson, Ebere Amaraizu, confirmed the march, saying that MASSOB members were stopped from entering into Nsukka town to avoid any breach of peace as well as causing problem in the town. Embarks of food production As way of contributing in moving its people out of Nigeria’s economic recession, the Ebonyi state chapter of MASSOB, also vowed to pursue a reinvigorated agricultural production as a palliative for the ‘Biafran people’ while they still remain under Nigeria government. The group in the state noted that it has come to the realization that MASSOB existence, activities and struggles primarily exist for the general service of “Ndigbo and Biafrans in general.” MASSOB and other pro-Biafra groups such as the Biafra Independence Movement, BIM, made processions in major cities of the state, marching round streets of the state capital, Abakaliki and Onueke in Ezza South local government area. Flays DSS for declaring Kanu’s wife wanted Meantime,the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, worldwide has described the inclusion of Mrs Uchechi Okwu Kanu, the wife of its leader and Director of Radio Biafra, Mr Nnamdi Kanu and the name of its Media and Publicity Secretary in the list of those declared wanted as a joke carried too far. IPOB in a statement signed by Emma Powerful, said: “DSS has just confirmed to the world that all the allegations of intimidation and harassment of IPOB members and non members and the threat to the life of Mr. Kanu and members of his family and friends with the list of the people they declared as wanted by them are true .” Demands unconditional release of Kanu, others IPOB also made a strident call to the Federal Government to quickly release unconditionally, Nnamdi Kanu,Director, Radio Biafra who has been in detention since October 10, 2015 over alleged treason charges. The pro-Biafra group also demanded the release of Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Emmanuel Otuu, Benjamin Nwawuisi, Mmadubugwu of IPOB, Benjamin Onwuka of BZM, Innocent Orji, Sabastine Amadi and 23 other detained MASSOB members at Awka and Onitsha prisons. “As MASSOB celebrate new life, zeal, credibility, confidence/trust, selfless leadership and genuine focus on Biafra, we draw the attention of the Norwegian Government to the plight of Mazi Lotachukwu Okolie,the Biafra coordinating figure in Norway & other Nordic countries, incarcerated with psychological and traumatic torture in prison at Trandum Utlendingsinternat, Trandunvegen, Mogreina. He was arrested on January 29, 2015 by Norwegian Police.” Vows to continue non-violent agitation In Umuahia,the two factions of MASSOB, yesterday, celebrated 17yrs anniversary of the formation of the group. While the Uchenna Madu-led faction marked the anniversary quietly with a vow “to commit our lives in continuation of the struggle and restoration of sovereign state of Biafra through non violence.” The Uchenna Madu group disowned the Uwazuruike led BIM, saying that they are members of MASSOB. A statement signed by Mazi Chris Uwalaka, Umuahia Zonal Co-coordinator said: “Today, as we celebrate our 17 years anniversary of MASSOB formation, we remember our brothers and sisters whose lives were cut shot because of Biafra in the hands of Nigeria security agents.” “Our non-violent MASSOB members died innocently and with brave heart for the Biafra cause, they were molested, mesmerized, humiliated, and brutally killed by the armed security agents of our oppressors. However, the Uwazuruike led BIM celebrated its own anniversary with prayers and procession on the streets of Umuahia. Shortly after the procession, the MASSOB-BIM zonal information director, Anselam Ogbonna alleged that about four Nigerian Police Hilux van stormed their Secretariat and seized the Biafran and Israeli flags hoisted there, but said that no arrested was made. Loyalists process in Owerri In Owerri, scores of loyalists of MASSOB, and the Biafran Independence Movement, BIM, processed peacefully through the major streets of Owerri yesterday. The people, who defied the heavy downpour experienced in Owerri, spotted Biafran uniform and carried all manner of Biafran insignia, sang several solidarity songs as they processed peacefully round Owerri municipality. Meanwhile, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mr. Andrew Enwerem, confirmed that the Command was aware of the planned procession by MASSOB loyalists in Owerri yesterday. Nothing will stop Biafra In Cross River State on Tuesday morning, MASSOB members paraded the streets of Ikom in central part of the state to mark the 17th anniversary of the movement. Members of the movement from all parts of the state, including Ogoja, Ugep, Obubra, Obudu and Abi, attended the rally which started at the Ikom township stadium. through major streets. Forget about Biafra—Buhari But in a swift reaction to all the agitations, President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday in Daura called on Nigerian youths to make Nigeria great again through pursuit of knowledge, patriotism and commitment to values that promote national unity. Receiving over 100 National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, members serving in Daura local government area, in his residence, President Buhari pledged his unalloyed commitment to the unity and prosperity of Nigeria. He urged them to remain focused in life, pursue their dreams and reject those fanning embers of discord and disintegration of Nigeria. Speaking specifically to corps members from the South Eastern states, the President said: “Tell your colleagues who want Biafra to forget about it. As a military commander, I walked from Degem, a border town between the north and the east, to the border between Cameroons and Nigeria. “I walked on my foot for most of the 30 months that we fought the Nigeria-Biafra civil war, in which at least 2 million Nigerians were killed. We were made by our leaders to go and fight Biafra not because of money or oil, because oil was not critical factor then.” but because of one Nigeria.” “So if leaderships at various levels failed, it was not the fault of the rest of Nigerians who have no quarrel with one another. So please tell your colleagues that we must be together to build this country. It is big enough for us and potentially big enough in terms of resources. “Those who work hard will earn a respectable living. I have seen this country, I fought for this country and I will continue to work for the unity of this country,” the President said.


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Omotimehin Nelson is the chief editor of as well the chairman of Nestec group that powered the news media He ventures into professional investigative journalism and he is now award-winning news and content writer. Connect with me for more