Police operatives on Monday, May 30, 2016 arrested about 17 members of the pro-Biafra group, MASSOB, in Owerri, Imo State during a peaceful march to mark the 50th anniversary of Biafra and 17th anniversary of the organisation whose full name is Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra..
According to reports, the MASSOB members staged a protest from Waterside Primary School in the state capital from where they proceeded to Rotibi Street and then to Oguamana Street before they moved to Douglas Road where they met some heavily armed security men who reportedly threw teargas at them at Ama JK end of the street and arrested some.
The state police public relations officer, DSP Andrew Enwerem, who confirmed the arrests to newsmen, said those arrested would be prosecuted.
The spokesman for MASSOB in Owerri zone, Chief Canice Anojuru said the group decided to hold the road show to awaken the consciousness of the people of the defunct Biafra which was declared a republic by Ojukwu on May 30, 1966.
He stated that the march was to draw the attention of international community to the plight of Biafra people, adding that the group had achieved a lot despite obvious challenges.
Meanwhile, a MASSOB leader, Mr Okechukwu Nwogu, called on Igbo leaders to arise and speak for Igbo people being unjustly treated by security forces.
He condemned the arrest of their members who were on a peaceful march to commemorate the anniversaries of Biafra and MASSOB respectively.
Nwogu said: “What Nigeria government is doing to us is very unfair; MASSOB is a non-violent group moving without arms in remembrance of our history.”