By Theo Ray, Oba
Business resumed normally in the commercial city of Onitsha Monday after Saturday June 8th 2012 Sit- at- Home order from members of the Movement for Actualization of Sovereign State MASSOB with residents and visitors narrating their ugly experiences in the hands of the pro-Biafran group.
According to them while they forcefully blocked traders off their markets, visitors were blocked with heavy built road block using heavy duty Lorries to block various roads linking Onitsha from Owerri, Enugu and Asaba respectively.
Some of the residents who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of subsequent attack by the MASSOBIANS said that the MASSOBIANS kept vigil on Friday to prefect their strategies, noting that they started operation “block the road” as early as 3am on Saturday Morning with out any security hitches against their traps.
A red cap chief who said his V – boot Mercedes car was vandalized at Nkpor junction area, said he wanted to rush to his village not far from the city when he encountered boys who told they were MASSOBIANS and shot sporadically the air, smashed his winds screen and ordered him to surrender his two handset and purse containing about N72, 000 cash.
“When they stopped me I passionately told them that I am ready to go back if there is no movement, but they ignored and insisted that I should surrender my belongings, I thought they would asked me to go back hence their system of non- violence” he added.
At main market, Bridge Head, Ose Market, Ogbaru Market respectively, the traders interviewed stated that they had the impression based on information that the Sit – at – Home will not hold because of lack of interest in MASSOB by the people and besides we heard that Police and Army will not allow it.
What looked like the ugliest and most painful experience occurred at Idemili Bridge at Obosi along Onitsha- Owerri road where the MASSOBIANS were said to robbed a fully Luxury bus which that traveling from Owerri to Lagos.
A passenger in the said Luxury bus Dr Harbat Opara who is based in America narrated the story via on line means stating that he lost his two cell phone, fifty five thousand Naira and twelve thousand Dollars cash the MASSOB boys during the Obosi incident.
He noted that it was unbelievable that the South eastern state of Nigeria shall allow group of armed robbers that operate in Igbo land as MASSOB adding “I was traveling to Lagos with a first bus from Owerri to Lagos on early morning of 8th June 2013 and on our approaching to Onitsha Owerri road near Idemili Bridge Oba/Obosi our bus was stopped on a blocked road and all our passenger was robbed of all our belongings”.
He said that the group was claiming that they are MASSOB and has right to do anything in Igbo land. “When I told and pleaded with them that I am an Igbo man living in USA that they should kindly give me back my briefcase which contained all my traveling documents and money, they shot gun on air and every passenger ran to the bush begging them to spare their life.
“After I ran to the bush with other passengers with our driver I taught twice the danger of losing my passport which made me to take a risky bold step to go to them and demand that they take all the money in the briefcase and I told them twelve thousand dollars and about fifty five thousand naira with utter surprise they started singing that Anyi egbugo ozu meaning that they have made a deadly big money, to my surprise they asked me to jump like a frog with big beating that I have never experience in life.
“Later one of them told them to open the bag and give me my passport with ten thousand naira that will take me to Lagos on condition that I will not report to the Army or police. They detailed an Okada to make sure that they crossed me to Asaba with instruction to make sure I did not report my ordeal with any Police or Army.
He said experienced has made me to believe that MASSOB is anti people and the entire Igbos must reject the group and compel the south east law makers to proscribe them adding that after telling my people in Lagos my ordeal in the hands of MASSOB they laughed and told me more unbelievable stories about what the MASSOB does.