The Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has vowed to go ahead with its planned rally in commemoration of its 16th year anniversary on Sunday, in defiance of the ban from the Nigeria Police Force.
The police had launched a raid on members of MASSOB last week as preparations peaked up for today’s anniversary celebration.
Reports had it that police last Monday swooped on the Freedom House headquarters of MASSOB located in Okigwe in Imo State and took away about 200 of the militants.
MASSOB had claimed that the police from Zone 9 conducted the raid on its members, even as it raised the alarm that it could not readily establish the whereabouts of its leader, Chief Ralph Nwazuruike.
The group had in an earlier statement accused President Muhammed Buhari of being after the life of its leader.
Speaking through their spokesman, Omenka, the group said: “When they stormed the Freedom House they (police) arrested our members and took them to Umuahia and since then we have not seen our leader”.
Omenka disclosed that the raid was not unconnected with MASSOB earlier alarm about two months ago that President Mohammadu Buhari has perfected arrangement to eliminate Chief Uwazurike.
He said: “You will recall that about two months ago we raised the alarm that President Mohammadu Buhari wanted to eliminate our leader. So you can see that what we said has come to be the truth because the president does not want anything good about the Igbo nation and no amount of intimidation and arrest will deter us from the struggle to actualize a sovereign state of Biafra”.
He warned that the group would not take it kindly with the Federal Government if anything happened to Uwazurike.
Omenka recalled the alledged killing of three MASSOB members in Onitsha by the Inland town police division and two others by the Navy at Uga Junction, Onitsha, saying “enough is enough”.
However, the group, which has been at the forefront of keeping alive the spirit of Biafra in Igboland, has declared that nothing would stop it from holding its anniversary rally.
The MASSOB leader, Uwazuruike, had vowed to sustain the struggle of the movement until the Biafran dream comes to fruition, saying that not even incessant harassment, arrest, detention and torture by security agents could deter him.
The MASSOB Chief who spoke to newsmen in his private residence in Owerri shortly after visiting the Zone 9 Police Headquarters Umuahia, in response to an invitation, however, assured that the movement would continue to shun all forms of violence in its struggle despite persistent unwarranted provocation.
The Ikwuano Regional Administrator, Davidson Ohaegbu, who spoke for the group yesterday in Umuahia, said part of events lined up to celebrate its anniversary were a church thanksgiving service and peaceful rally.