The Biafran Nations League (BnL) has appealed to the Nigeria Police to release its members arrested few days ago because they were ‘wrongly’ identified as members of the Movement for the Actualisation of State of Biafra (MASSOB).
Two days ago, police reportedly carried out a mass arrest of all suspected members of Biafra agitating groups, including outlawed MASSOB, in Ikom LGA of Cross River State.
In a release, signed by one Princewill Richard, who claimed to be the national leader of BnL, they claimed that “among those arrested were seven Igbo traders inside a watch repairer shop accused of being MASSOB members, while the remaining 17 are BnL members who were arrested in their houses.
Richards claimed that their members were not involved in any crimes in the state, warning that the arrest of its Ejagham-speaking supporters would result to more problems at Ikom, if not handled with care.
The crack down on pro-Biafra elements in the country continued as the police swept no fewer than 23 suspected members and sympathisers of BnL, IPOB and MASSOB in Ikom town in central Cross River State.
Over two weeks ago, Cameroonian forces killed one of the commanders of BnL in his house near the Bakassi Peninsula. In retaliation, a week later they claimed responsibility for the blasting of two gun boats in same area where Nigeria and Cameroon are conducting joint military exercises.
“Nine of our members were arrested in their houses in Ikom, where we had started our agitation, and we have much followers there.
“They arrested them at a watch repairer shop, while some were picked up in their houses based on tip off.
“Those arrested in their houses are our members, but those arrested in the shops are just petty traders. 7 of them are Ibo traders. We don’t know whether they’re BnL or MASSOB but what we know is that they were not having any Biafra insignia, neither were they doing meeting there,” it stated.
Meanwhile, spokesman of the state police command, Irene Ugbo has denied knowledge of the arrest, saying she was yet to be briefed.