Mass arrest trail MASSOB/BIM Biafra anniversary

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Operatives of the Delta State police command, on Tuesday, dislodged members of the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and Biafra Independent Movement (BIM) who had gathered at Oko, near Asaba to celebrate the 18th anniversary of Biafra as declared by Ralph Uwazuruike.

The event was a combined celebration by Delta north and south followers of the group. They had barely gathered to perform the rites when the police team arrived in seven hilux vans, searching for the peaceful agitators.

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But the group quickly beat a tactical withdrawal and retreating back into their shells. Leaders of the group including Joseph C. Odikpo, Emeka Okafor, Chinedu Amaifeobu and Chike Mbaeyi, and hundred others scampered for safety when police mobilized to the area.

Speaking, Odikpo flayed the dangerous dimension the occasion was about to assume, wondering why

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security operatives hijacked the event to give it a violent colouration.

Odikpo lamented the inhuman treatment being meted on the Zonal Commander of Security of the group in the state, Mr. Ignatius Adili-Ajana, at the yard of the Department of Security Service (DSS) in Akwa, was unwarranted.

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He said since the constitution of Nigeria permits a child to ask for freedom after 18 years, he appealed to the Federal Government to stop using military apparatus to beat drums of war, desist from tagging the group terrorists but adhere to the submissions of the United Nations.

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Okafor on his part, said since the group’s ability had sustained the agitation for 18 years without asking for the abolition of the Federal Government of Nigeria, its agents should allow freedom, justice and peace to reign.

“The agitation is extremely non-violent. If not that we applied a tactical withdrawal, the celebration would have taken a bloody measure. Police should stop intimidating us with firearms when the only weapon we are carrying is our uniform and flag,” Okafor said.

In Rivers State
Security operatives, on Tuesday, arrested over 10 members of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and Biafra Independent Movement (BIM), when they staged an anniversary rally, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

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Daily Sun gathered that the arrested persons were among the hundreds of supporters of Pro-Biafran agitators who had stormed Port Harcourt, the State capital, to mark their 18 years of the existence of MASSOB and BIM.

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The pro-Biafra agitators had commenced the procession at Mile Market in Port Harcourt, and headed towards Eleme junction before they were intercepted around Garrison junction.

The security men shot teargas canisters at the MASSOB and BIM members to disperse them and arrested 10 of them, especially those wearing military and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps camouflages.

MASSOB leader in the state, Solomon Chukwu, in his speech during the protest, said: “I am not happy about the development. I met the security people and told them what we are doing that we are not violent. But, they asked us to close and go. They did not give us chance to go.

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“They arrested our people on uniform. Our coming out is not that we took them unawares. They are aware. We are meant to go to Eleme Junction. But, because of their action, we stopped here at Garrison. We will follow up the people they have arrested to secure their release.

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“I am calling on the Federal Government that MASSOB is non-violent and we are a registered organisation. We are shocked that they decided to treat us like this”, he expressed.

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Also, Engr. Anthony Azukem said the essence of the rally was to reawaken the call for the creation of the Biafran State.

He said: “The rally this morning is to mark our 18 years of existence, after it was formed in year 2000 by Chief Ralph Uwazuruike. The call for the reawakening of the call for the creation of Biafra State is part of the reason for this rally”.

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