Police arrest 18 pro-Biafran agitators as MASSOB clocks 17


Police IG Ibrahim Idris

Mudiaga Affe, Tony Okafor and Ogbonnaya Ikiokwu

Police have arrested 18 pro-Biafran agitators while
celebrating the 17th anniversary of the creation of
the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign
State of Biafra in some states in the South-East
geopolitical zone.

The Anambra Police Command on Tuesday
arrested 14 Biafra agitators in Onitsha, Anambra
State, while its counterpart in Abia State arrested
four other pro-Biafran agitators.
The agitators were celebrating the 17th anniversary
of the existence of the MASSOB.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state
confirmed the arrest.
She said 13 of those arrested were males while
one was a female.
She said they were arrested for their conducts
likely to cause the breach of peace.
Soldiers mounted road blocks at different locations
in Onitsha and its environs to monitor the
procession of the agitators of the Biafra
Independent Movement.
This made vehicular movement in and around
Onitsha difficult.
Reacting to the harassment of its members by
security agencies, BIM warned the Federal
Government not to provoke it into resorting into
The Joint Security Task Force set up by the
Anambra State Government which comprises
soldiers, police, navy and civil defence, among
others, cordoned off parts of Onitsha while the
march lasted.
There were reported cases of shootings.
The BIM members were seen chanting songs while
on the anniversary procession.
Anambra North Zonal Leader of the group,
Emmanuel Omenka, while addressing its members,
urged them to exercise patience as “the day of
freedom is near.”
He said, “The present call for restructuring by
some segments of the country came about as a
result of the fear for the Biafran independence by
those who have tied the country down”.
“Going by the numerous times of unprovoked
attack on our members by the Nigerian security
forces, we may resort to violence.
“The fact that we chose non-violence is not out of
cowardice but to maintain the pact Uwazurike
signed with the United Nations.
“No amount of restructuring gimmick can make
BIM and MASSOB derail from their agitation for a
sovereign state of Biafra.”
Anambra Central Zonal Leader of BIM, Chief Vincent
Iloh, said, “The Nigerian government should allow
the Biafra agitators have their own independent
state, since the amalgamation of Nigeria in 1914
by our calculation had expired in 2014.
“Let the whole world know that we are resolute in
our stand for a Biafra Republic. It is not
compulsory that we shall remain one indivisible
nation. Therefore, they should allow us to go to
our Promised Land.
“We will not fail to praise the resilience of Chief
Ralph Uwazurike who started the struggle on
September 13, 1999. We want to remind those
working to destabilise the struggle that they can
never succeed, because 17 years is not 17 days,
even as we are not ready to relent or relinquish the
In Abia State, about four persons were reportedly
arrested by the police in Umuahia, the state
capital, for taking part in the 17th anniversary of
Members of MASSOB defied the rain to mark the
The event started with a prayer session at its zonal
secretariat in Umuahia, before a peaceful
procession round the state capital.
But few hours after the procession, the MASSOB-
BIM zonal Information Director, Anselam Ogbonna,
alleged that about four of their members were
arrested by the police.
He also alleged that about four Nigerian Police
(Hilux) vans, with one having NPF6619C number,
stormed their secretariat and seized the Biafran and
Israeli flags hoisted there.
Meanwhile, the MASSOB also marked its 17th
anniversary of existence on Tuesday.
It renewed commitment towards actualising Biafra
republic without violence.
MASSOB leader, Uchenna Madu, said in a
statement in Awka that the Biafra agitators were
using the occasion to remember those who lost
their lives in the course of the struggle.
Madu said, “Today, as we celebrate the 17th
anniversary of the formation of MASSOB, we
remember our brothers and sisters whose lives
were cut shot because of Biafra in the hands of
security agents.
“We remember our non-violent MASSOB members,
who died innocently and with brave hearts for the
Biafra cause. They were molested, mesmerised,
humiliated and brutally killed by the armed security
agents of our oppressors.
“Today, we the remnants of genuine MASSOB
activists also remember the parents of our fallen
heroes. Some are still traumatised and some died
because of shock while others are living ghost of
“MASSOB still remembers our dead members who
are still in mortuaries for the past 10 years. They
were brutally killed in Onitsha in June 2006, during
an order of shoot-at-sight against armless
MASSOB members.”
Madu said it had come to the notice of MASSOB
that some members of the Biafra Indigenous
Movement, led by the former MASSOB leader, Chief
Ralph Uwazuruike, were also marking the
anniversary. He said while the movement was not
against such participation, it should be on record
that only one MASSOB, led by him, exists. He said
MASSOB has its headquarters at Okwe in Imo
He added, “While MASSOB acknowledges other
Biafrans in celebrating with us, we counsel the
confused and brainwashed members of
Uwazuruike’s BIM to understand their stand in the
struggle. A group of people cannot be MASSOB
and BIM members at the same time under the
leadership of two different persons.
In Cross River State, at least 200 members of
MASSOB held procession along major streets in
Ikom to mark the 17th anniversary of the pressure
group on Tuesday.
The members, who came in from Ogoja, Ugep,
Obubra, Obudu and Abi local government areas of
the state, converged at the Ikom Township
Stadium, before parading the streets, chanting
victory songs and Biafran anthem.
Zonal Leader of MASSOB in Cross River State, Mr.
Samuel Okah, who led the parade, said the event
was to mark 17 years of peaceful struggle for the
actualisation of a nation for the people of Biafra.
He said, “It has been 17 years of peaceful agitation
by the people of Biafra, led by Chief Ralph
Uwazurike, and we are making steady progress for
the coming to fruition of our efforts. This is a clear
demonstration of the fact that peaceful efforts could
get more mileage than violence.”


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