Security operatives, on Tuesday, arrested over 10 members of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and Biafra Independent Movement (BIM), when they staged an anniversary rally, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
It was gathered that the arrested persons were among the hundreds of supporters of Pro-Biafran agitators who had stormed Port Harcourt, the State capital, to mark their 18 years of the existence of MASSOB and BIM.
The pro-Biafra agitators had commenced the procession at Mile Market in Port Harcourt, and headed towards Eleme junction before they were intercepted around Garrison junction.
The security men shot teargas canisters at the MASSOB and BIM members to disperse them and arrested 10 of them, especially those wearing military and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps camouflages.
MASSOB leader in the state, Solomon Chukwu, in his speech during the protest, said: “I am not happy about the development. I met the security people and told them what we are doing that we are not violent. But, they asked us to close and go. They did not give us chance to go.
“They arrested our people on uniform. Our coming out is not that we took them unawares. They are aware. We are meant to go to Eleme Junction. But, because of their action, we stopped here at Garrison. We will follow up the people they have arrested to secure their release.
“I am calling on the Federal Government that MASSOB is non-violent and we are a registered organisation. We are shocked that they decided to treat us like this”, he expressed.
Also, Engr. Anthony Azukem said the essence of the rally was to reawaken the call for the creation of the Biafran State.
He said: “The rally this morning is to mark our 18 years of existence, after it was formed in year 2000 by Chief Ralph Uwazuruike. The call for the reawakening of the call for the creation of Biafra State is part of the reason for this rally”.