The President of the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, was on Wednesday detained by the Enugu State Police Command for what it described as treasonable felony.
The police had earlier arrested no fewer than 200 MASSOB members as they converged on the state to attend an award ceremony in honour of ailing ex-Biafra leader, Dim Chukwuemeka-Odimegwu-Ojukwu, by the Igbo Youth Movement.
After the IYM event, Uwazuruike had left for the police command to ensure the release of his members but was arrested and detained by 7.11pm.
On being informed of the arrest of their leader, a MASSOB member, who spoke from Awka in Anambra State stated, “With what has happened today in Enugu State, the people of Nigeria should expect the worst from us.”
Those, who escaped arrest, were reported to have sought refuge in Odimegwu-Ojukwu’s house at GRA, Enugu. But on getting there and after a thorough search, the policemen could not find anyone around except his domestic servants.
The incident occurred while the ex-Biafra warlord’s wife, Bianca Ojukwu, was at the Presidential Hotel in Enugu, to receive the IYM Recognition Award on behalf of her husband.
Though Mrs. Ojukwu refused to comment on the matter when the news filtered into Presidential Hotel, she, however, told the crowd at the venue that her husband’s biggest challenge was the South-East governors.
She stated that the governors had continued to thwart his effort to unite Igbo. For instance, she lamented that despite several appeals by Ojukwu to the governors on the need to honour those who died fighting for the Republic of Biafra in the civil war, nothing had been done.
Bianca said, “There has not been any memorial service to remember those who paid with their lives in the struggle for Biafra. My husband has always tried to convince the South-East governors to organise one, but all to no avail as they seem not bothered.”
She added, “His dream was to hold a memorial service to say thank you to those young men and women who died for the struggle of the Igbo.”
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Chief Victor Umeh, said the five South-East governors had not adequately represented the interest of Igbo people.
Umeh said, “If they have represented the Igbo interest, why are they shying away from demanding one more state for the South-East zone?
“Whenever I tell them that the zone had the least number of councils and states when compared to other zones, and that they need to fight for the creation of more councils and an additional state, they keep harassing me. How can we keep alive the dreams of Ojukwu, our spiritual leader, when we keep up with this kind of attitude?”