Police confirm arrest of MASSOB members
According to the police, they are to be charged to court as soon as possible for offences such as criminal intention to ferment trouble and sedition.
A statement issued yesterday in Abuja by Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO) acting Assistant Commissioner of Police (Ag. ACP) Olabisi Kolawole, said the arrest followed the directive given by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Solomom Arase, that all persons fermenting trouble should desist from such or face legal action.
The statement reads in part that, “IGP Arase has ordered an immediate clamp down on persons or group of persons inciting violence and social disorder across the country. This directive becomes imperative owing to recent activities of members of the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign States of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in some parts of the country.”
So far, four people have being arrested in Anambra State, six in Imo, one in Abia and 11 in Delta State.
Kolawole told The Guardian on phone that the suspects would be charged to court soon.
Meanwhile, Irked by the recent arrest and subsequent release of their leader, Chief Ralph Uwazurike, by the police, members of MASSOB, Okigwe zone in Imo State, have condemned the action, warning the police to allow them exercise what they called non-violent approach to actualize their rights.
In a statement signed by the Okigwe zonal leader of the group, Samuel Ogubuike, and made available to The Guardian yesterday, they said: “We are gentle and calm pressing for the independent state of Biafra through a world classified and recognised means (non-violent approach). The raid on MASSOB office is uncalled for and undemocratic.”
The statement added: “Police wanted to kill Chief Ralph Uwazurike, the MASSOB leader. If not, why should they storm the office by 1.45 a.m with 10 Hilux vans fully loaded with armed police men, are we fighting a war?”