… For interrogation over Nov 5 declaration
From PETRUS OBI, Enugu
Leaders of the Biafra Zionist Movement (BZM), a pro-Biafra group that have been mobilizing for the re-declaration of Biafra on November 5 have been whisked away to an unknown destination by MASSOB members in Enugu. The BZM leader, Mr. Ben Onwuka, who told newsmen recently that there was no going back on the re-declaration, was abducted alongside his deputy, Mr. John Edeson in what was believed to be an effort to frustrate the group from going ahead with their plan next Monday.
The BZM, which had started to be popular among the people of the South-East had been having a cold battle with MASSOB leader, Ralph Uwazuruike since he distanced himself from the proposed re-declaration of Biafra in an interview where he also tried to discredit the group.
The group had replied the MASSOB leader by saying that they would realize Biafra with or without him, accusing him of compromising his position as a pro-Biafra crusader. Reacting to the disappearance of the two leaders, spokesman to MASSOB leader, Mr. Uchenna Madu, told our reporter on phone that the duo were not abducted but taken away by MASSOB members in Enugu for interrogation.
Madu said the Biafra re-declaration was not clear to his group thus they decided to interrogate them on the issue, which, he also claimed, had turned security operatives against MASSOB members with the belief that MASSOB was part of the arrangement.
He, however, said the MASSOB leader was not aware of the action of his members in Enugu, insisting that the action was unilaterally taken by the Enugu branch of MASSOB and had nothing to do with the national leadership of the group.
A member of the BZM, who identified himself as Ugochukwu, however, told our reporter in Enugu that their leaders were seriously manhandled by the invading MASSOB members and whisked away just as they expressed fears over their safety.
Re-declaration of Biafra: Count us out –MASSOB
From OKEY SAMPSON, Aba
Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has said it was not part of the planned re-declaration of Biafra and has, therefore, warned its members to steer clear of the exercise, described as an attempt to bastardise Biafra.
A group, which called itself Biafra Zionist Movement (BZM) and led by one Ben Onwuka said it had concluded arrangements for the re-declaration of Biafra on November 5, stating that nothing would stop the campaign on that day.
Speaking with Daily Sun, the MASSOB administrator for Aba Region A, Mrs. Comfort Ogbuokiri, who spoke through her Director of Information, Chidi Okoro and the Director of Information, Aba Region B, Sunny Okereafor, said it amounted to taking the people for a ride for anybody to think of re-declaration of Biafra when in actual sense, Biafra had been declared twice.
They contended that the late Ezeigbo Gburugburu, Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, first declared Biafra in 1967, which culminated in the civil war that ended in 1970 with the ‘no victor, no vanquished slogan’.
They stated that due to what the Igbos had gone through in the Nigerian nation since after the civil, that Ralph Uwazuruike on May 22, 2000, re-declared Biafra at Aba with her non-violent stance, stressing that what the other group wanted to do now, if allowed would make mockery of the state of Biafra and said MASSOB was out of it.
“Which Biafra do they want to declare? Is it the one declared by Chief Ojukwu or that by Chief Uwazuruike, which was declared due to the exigencies of the time. They should stop causing confusion in Igbo and security operatives should checkmate their activities,” they said.