Tension is high in Anambra State as persons suspected to be members of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, mounted road blocks and set bonfire in Nkpor and Onitsha causing the roads to be deserted.
According to Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Mr Hassan Karma, the suspected members of MASSOB gathered at a school in Nkpor with identifying flags emblazoned with the rising sun symbols and charms but with mission unknown.
He said that the Joint Security Operation, on moving in to ascertain their mission, the group opened fire on them but the situation was later brought under control as the group fled and two people were arrested among them.
The Commissioner disclosed that those arrested were not from the state and warned all and sundry who felt they could hide under any guise to foment trouble in the state to desist as it would not be tolerated.
While assuring the people of Anambra state to remain calm as proactive measures were on cause to bring the situation under control, he advised that all residents should embrace peace and not infringe on other people’s freedom while agitating for their own freedom.
However, an eyewitness who spoke off camera said that it was the security agencies that first disrupted the peaceful protest of the group at Nkpor when they were marching to commemorate the one year in memoriam of the victims of the struggle for freedom.
Fracas In Asaba
Also, in Asaba, the Delta State capital, several people were injured as a planned protest by members of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) degenerated into a fight.
The MASSOB members had planned peaceful protests across south eastern states to mark 49 years of the agitation for Biafra Republic (1967 to 2016), on Monday.
The fight reportedly broke out when Police tried to disperse the protesters by firing teargas at them.
This action infuriated the protesters who allegedly reacted angrily and this degenerated into a larger fracas.
According to eyewitnesses, those injured in the fracas, including policemen, were taken to the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba for treatment.
Arrests in Owerri
Meanwhile, the Imo State Police Command has arrested over 20 members of MASSOB for what they termed disturbance of public peace.
While parading the members of the group at the command headquarters in Owerri, the command’s Public Relations Officer, Andrew Enwerem, said that the group were rounded up around Tetlow Street by Okigwe road at about 11AM where they were said to be gathering to storm the city metropolis.
Mr Enwerem said that the action by the group was unacceptable and a disturbance of public peace that is capable of causing breakdown of law and order in the state.
He said that the Imo State Police Commissioner, Taiwo Lakanu, would not condone any act of terrorism, thuggery or unholy association that is capable causing breakdown of law and order in the state as all such acts would be treated as a high criminal offense.