New York[RR] AWKA–Credible sources reaching Republic Reporters say, more than 15 Members of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), yesterday sustained injuries when they clashed with police at Nnobi and Awka-Etiti both in Idemili South Local Governmentl Area of Anambra State. Reports added that: “MASSOB members were said to have been holding a rally to mobilise support for the June 8 sit-at-home order, which the organisation issued to the Igbos.
The sit-at-home order, according to MASSOB, was to mark the killing of six Igbos by the police at Apo village, Abuja and those found dumped at Ezu River, Amansea in Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State and those killed by Boko Haram, a dreaded Islamist sect. “Reacting to the incident, the MASSOB Deputy Director of Information, Mazi Chris Mocha, accused security operatives, especially the police, of killing MASSOB members fighting for the actualization of a sovereign state of Biafra. According to him, the police also took away MASSOB laptop computer, some amount of money and arrested some of their members. He said those arrested and taken away by the police include Jude Ochi, Nnamdi Ezeaka, Nelson Ugboh, Ifeanyi Eboh, Sun-online news reported.
“In his own reaction, Prince Ohaegbulem Jude of the Lagos State branch of MASSOB regretted that Igbos had been marginalized, intimidated and made to be second class citizens in Nigeria. He vowed that the proposed sit-at-home scheduled for June 8 would definitely hold despite the intimidations from security operatives. When contacted on the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for Anambra State, Mr. Emeka Chukwuemeka, confirmed the incident but, however, said he did not receive any information about those who sustained injury. Chukwuemeka said the operation was led by DPOs, adding that what happened at Nnobi and Awka-Etiti were minor skirmishes.
The PPRO warned that the police would not tolerate illegal activities from any person or group of persons who would want to disturb public peace in the state. Earlier, MASSOB in a statement by regional administrator in Njaba LGA, Mr. Emmanuel Chukwudi Nwokeji,requested the Imo State residents, especially those living in Njaba to sit at home in protest against the unprovoked killings of Ndigbo in the North and other parts of the country. He said: “This is in reaction to the continued killings of Ndigbo in Nigeria without regard to human life especially the killing of six Igbo youths in Abuja on June 8, 2005 and no justice has been done or the families compensated.” “Nwokeji explained that the directive by MASSOB, as a non-violent group, was a means of condemning the injustice and marginalization meted out on Ndigbo. Stating MASSOB will enforce the Sit-At-Home Protest.
He added that the sit-at-home directive would send signal to Nigerian leaders that Ndigbo could still fight their continued marginalization. “The regional administrator pointed out that the challenges faced by every Igbo man in Nigeria could not be addressed until Biafra Republic was actualised. “The idea of forcing ourselves to live together is the cause of the evil pervading Nigeria since its creation.” Nwokeji urged the people to support the struggle for the emancipation of Ndigbo, noting that, “anyone who understands the time in which we live, knows sufficiently that our predetermined goal cannot be negotiated and the idea to institutionalize Biafra is very indestructible and eternal”.
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In a related development, more than 200 members of the Association of Igbo Youths (AIYO) yesterday marched to the Anambra State House of Assembly to protest the June 8 sit-at-home order issued to the Igbo race by MASSOB. The angry youths who came in several buses arrived the gate of the House of Assembly by 12noon, carrying placards and demanded to see the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Chinwe Nwebili, who at the time was holding an executive session in the Assembly Chamber. Some of the placards, which the protesters carried read: “No more violence,” No closure of markets,” “It is against our interest,” “No gang up against government.”
The youths were received at gate of the Assembly by Dr. Emeka Aniebonam and some legislators on behalf of the Speaker. Addressing the assembly members, the Anambra State Chairman of AIYO, Annie Onyeakpe, said they were at the assembly to complain against the illegal order issued to the Igbo to stay at home on June 8.
He said, “our stand is that we do not support June 8 sit-at-home issued by MASSOB. “The traders are not happy about the order and the Igbos are generally traders who may be disturbed if they are compelled to sit at home for the day.” Onyeakpe said MASSOB had no authority to order the Igbo race to stay at home when they had five state governments and their governors who could issue such order when the need arose.
He contended that the issues for which MASSOB based its order were issues that could better be handled by the state governors. He, therefore, appealed to the members of the House of Assembly to do everything possible to ensure that the Igbos were not disturbed from carrying out their legitimate businesses on June 8. Responding, Aniebonam thanked members of AIYO for their peaceful conduct in lodging their complaints to the assembly.
He said nobody had right to issue any order on the people other than the government and promised to table their complaint to the Governor, Mr. Peter Obi. Meanwhile, MASSOB, Abia State chapter, says it has uncovered plans by Abia State Government to use security agents and touts to cause mayhem in Umuahia and Aba to frustrate the planned June 8 sit-at-home order issued by the movement over the Apo 6 killing by security agents in 2005.
According to Dom Ekpunobi, in Onitsha and Chuks Onuoha who culled from Umuahia reported that “the movement warned all those involved in the plot to desist from the act or face the wrath of God, calling on the populace to remain indoors during the period to avoid security logjam. Speaking to Daily Sun in Umuahia, the Information Director of the Movement in Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State, Mr. Ansalem Ogbonna, warned Igbo politicians who felt they could use their positions to frustrate the sit-at- home order to desist from doing so as they were using it to sabotage the Igbo agenda.
He alleged that the plan of Abia State Government was to cause violence and heap the blame on MASSOB so as to hound them into cells or kill them. “The exercise is slated on the principle of non-violence and anybody that brings chaos into Igboland because of the sit-at-home exercise will never be pardoned by the God of Ndigbo.” He called on all Igbos to remain indoors on June 6 and pray to God for the repose of the spirit of those Igbos killed extra-judicially. He further called on the international community to place surveillance on Abia security forces between June 6 and 8 to ascertain that they would not cause any problem. “
This is no political or religious matter but a point to prove to the world the grievance of the Igbos over the extra-judicial killing, annihilation and heinous massacre of Ndigbo since 1945.” He said the leader of the movement, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, had warned traditional rulers to advice their subjects never to allow themselves to be used by anybody.
Source: Republic Reporters