Damian Duruiheoma, Owerri
More than 100 members of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) were on Monday arrested by the police for holding road show in Owerri, the Imo State capital.
The MASSOB members kicked off the road show at Waterside Primary School Owerri, from where they moved to Rotibi Street to Oguamana Street before linking Douglas road where heavily armed security men threw teargas at them.
Mr Okechukwu Nwogu, a leader of MASSOB who spoke to journalists in Owerri regretted the arrest of members of the group who according to him were on a peaceful march to commemorate the 49th anniversary of Biafra and 17th anniversary of MASSOB.
“What Nigeria government is doing to us is very unfair MASSOB is a non-violent group moving without arms in remembrance of our history.
“If Nigeria security is well armed and ready for war, they should go to Sambisa forest and fight with the Boko Haram members who are out to fight and not Biafra”, he said.
Nwogu also called no Igbo leaders to speak out against unjust treatment meted out to Igbo people by security forces.
Earlier, spokesman of MASSOB Owerri zone, Chief Canice Anojuru, had told journalists that the group decided to hold the road show to awaken the consciousness of the people of the defunct Biafra.
Anojuru said that the road show was also holding in all territory of Biafra adding that the peaceful move was to draw the attention of international community on the plights of Biafra people.
He added that the group had achieved a lot despite obvious challenges and suppression of the members by security forces in parts of the country.
“We have constructed a lot of structures and infrastructures at Okwe, the headquarters, where senior soldiers who fought on the side of Biafra are presently quartered.
“We have built Ojukwu Memorial Library in Owerri, introduced Biafra International Passport, Biafra Currency, Biafra Motor licenses, Plate number, and created regional offices”, he said.
Anojuru added that MASSOB had metamorphosed to Biafra Independent Movement (BIM) as the apex body to further advance the course of Biafra and bring its vision of independent Biafra state to fruition.
The Owerri zonal leader of MASSOB regretted that despite the non-violent posture of MASSOB, members of the group have been maimed, killed, and locked up by Nigeria security operatives.
On the recent invasion of Nimbo community in Enugu state by suspected Fulani herdsmen, the group advised the people of south-east to be more vigilant to forestall future attacks in the area.
“As a group, we frown at the rate at which human beings were killed and maimed, farmlands destroyed, women raped, and buildings razed by these Fulani herdsmen.
“We are calling on all people of South-East area to be more vigilant and extra careful over this recent development”, Anojuru stated.
The group advised people of the area to be careful in engaging people whose identity are not clear to them as security men, gardeners and house-keepers.
The spokesman of the state police command, Andrew Enwerem could not be reached for comments, but a senior police officer told The UNION that the pro-Biafrans were arrested for holding illegal gathering and demonstration.