Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has said that the quest to actualise Biafra Republic will soon become a reality notwithstanding the position of the federal government of Nigeria.
The leadership of the group stated this yesterday, in an elaborate ceremony marking the 17th anniversary of MASSOB.
The group used the occasion to reflect on what they described as their long walk to freedom, and countless episodes of brutality visited on them by the Nigerian government.
Addressing members, MASSOB leader, Comrade Uchenna Madu recalled the harassment, arrests, detention, imprisonment and killings of their non-violent members.
He said: “Today, we also remember the traumatic torture, massacre of unarmed MASSOB members at Umulolo, Okigwe on 29th March, 2003. Today, we remember the uncelebrated deaths of our fallen heroes, not forgetting the traumatic deaths of the parents of our members who died because of shock. MASSOB can never forget the death of the first two pro-Biafra martyrs, Gabriel Ogu and Joseph Okereke. They willingly gave their lives in defence of the Biafran flag at Faulks Road, Aba on 22 May, 2000 when MASSOB first hoisted the Biafran flag.”
In another statement signed by Mazi Lotachukwu Ikeogu (Imo State Coordinator) and Comrade Sebastine Muonso (Imo State Secretary), the group said: “We also remember our members who are still in detention because of their belief in Biafra, but as we commemorate our 17th year anniversary, we urge Ndigbo to device local and community based means of protecting themselves.”
The statement noted further that if Ndigbo had realised potency of their enemy and the hate-driven policies targeted at them, they will stop lamenting about the federal government’s inability to protect them against the marauding Fulani herdsmen.
“MASSOB warns that Ndigbo should hold their governors responsible for any invasion of our land by foreigners. That Buhari’s sudden and pressured directive against Fulani’s herdsmen is half-hearted and political. MASSOB foresees more military-styled attacks which shall continue to be veiled as executed by Fulani’s herdsmen but the real men behind these pogroms are known as the Islamic Arewa Army (ISAA) established to conquer and actualise an ethno-religious agenda,” it stated.
Also, the Ralph Uwazurike faction of MASSOB, which gathered on Tuesday at Ikom township stadium in central Cross River State to celebrate the 17th anniversary of the movement, maintained that it was reaching out to countries in the western world to support its course and that soon, Biafra will gain its freedom from Nigeria.
The Zonal leader of the group, Samuel Okah, who led members on a peaceful march through streets in the commercial town of the state chanting victory songs and the Biafran anthem before converging at the stadium, encouraged members to keep faith with the movement as the leadership was doing everything to ensure a peacefull disengage from Nigeria.
Okah, who also said Chief Uwazurike has asked him to assure members of the possibility of freedom, noted that the struggle had assumed a different dimension and that the federal government would soon get tired of arresting and intimidating members of the group.
“We have continued to ask for a peaceful departure from Nigeria because we do not want take up arms again. In the last seventeen years, the struggle has gained momentum and the federal government might soon be tired of arm-twisting us to remain in unequalled country,” Okah stated.