A combined team of security agencies, Tuesday, held over one thousand members of Movement for the Actualization Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) hostage in Nsukka, EnuguState.
The MASSOB members, who were clad in Biafra uniforms, caps, and carrying Biafra flags, were marching towards Nsukka town to celebrate seventeen years of the movement.
They were, however, intercepted at Ede-Oballa, about two kilometers to Nsukka town by combined team of soldiers and police.
Speaking with newsmen, the Zonal Leader of Enugu North senatorial zone of MASSOB, Mr James Omeke said the movement was celebrating its seventeen years since it came into existence though Chief Ralph Uwazurike.
Omeke said that when they reached Ede-Oballa, they were stopped by a combined team of army and police.
“They collected our caps, flags and ordered us to go home after keeping us for three hours.
“When they stopped us, our members numbering about 1000 were searched and no arms or any dangerous weapon was found from anybody.
“We stayed there for about three hours before they told us to go home; the march was non-violent and peaceful”, he said.
The zonal leader said they anticipated that the celebration would be interrupted by security agencies, adding that they were not afraid because the movement had been non-violent since it started seventeen years ago by Uwazurike.
“What we are celebrating today is seventeen years anniversary of MASSOB since 1999.
“We see today’s celebration as a success since we have used it to create more awareness about the movement.
‘We appeal to the federal government of Nigeria to stop harassing us since the movement is peaceful and nonviolent.
“We also call UN to expedite action towards conducting a referendum.
“In spite of the harassment, the struggle for Biafra continues as members will not relent until Biafra is realized”, he added.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations officer, Enugu State, SP Ebere Amaraizu said the MASSOB members were stopped from entering Nsukka town to avoid any breach of peace.
“Yes, I am aware some members of MASSOB marching to Nsukka town to celebrate 17 years anniversary were stopped at Ede-Oballa by security agents, the aim is to avoid any breach of peace.
“They were stopped from entering Nsukka town and sent back home because they were peaceful, non-violent and no dangerous weapon was found on them during the march”, he said.