MASSOB, IPOB stage rally to sensitise on sit-at-home order
• Uwazurike flays May 30 order, as police arrest BIM members in Enugu
Agitators for a sovereign state of Biafra yesterday staged a peaceful awareness rally in Owerri about their resolve to hold a-sit-at-home exercise on May 30.
They include members of the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and lovers of a Biafra nation. The agitators marched through Okigwe, Wethdral, Douglas and adjoining roads in Owerri, urging people peacefully to observe the sit -at- home order, as a way to achieve a sovereign nation.
There was also a march in the commercial city of Onitsha, Anambra State, paralyzing commercial activities. Addressing newsmen later, the Anambra North Zonal leader of MASSOB-BIM, Mr. Vincent Iloh, said they were observing the anniversary of May 22, 2000, the date Chief Uwazurike re-declared the new Biafra struggle.
In Ebonyi, the State police command yesterday arrested no fewer than 100 members of the Biafra Independent Movement (BIM) who staged a rally across the state.
Though MASSOB in a statement through its leader, Comrade Uche Madu said those that observed the rally were not its members, noting that MASSOB would observe the 50th anniversary of declaration of Biafra by General Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu on May 30, 2017.
BIM leader in the state, John Nwifuru, said the group was guarded by the police to ensure that the process was not high jacked by hoodlums. He assured that those arrested by the police would be released as according to him, he has spoken with police authority on the matter.
Meanwhile, Leader of the breakaway faction of MASSOB and BIM, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, has described the planned sit at home being called by Biafra agitators in the southeast on May 30, as “cowardly”, explaining that his group would not participate because it was aimed at cursing the people.
This is as over 60 members were allegedly arrested by the police in Enugu. But the Police said only 41 members of the group were arrested even as it reiterated her warning to curb any act of violence or conduct that could cause the breach of peace in the state.
Police Public Relations Officer in Enugu State, Ebere Amaraizu said yesterday that the members of the group were arrested because their action was capable of “disturbing the already existing peace in the state as hoodlums may as well cash on that to wreck havoc on the citizenry”
He advised members of the public to be law abiding. He said that the arrested members would face the cause of law after investigations. Uwazurike said they decided to engage in non-violent march to demonstrate the commitment in the cause of independence of Biafra, stressing that “sit at home is no longer acceptable as serious weapon for the struggle.”
In Asaba, the rally commenced at about 8:00am. Members gathered around Abraka axis, when members of the police force arrived.
Though, no arrest was made as at the time of filing this report as the police commissioner, Mr. Zanna Ibrahim said the police would continue to monitor their activities in the state.