Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), yesterday raised the alarm over what it called a plot by Task Force (JTF) security outfit to assassinate leaders of the movement in the state.
At a press briefing in Awka, the Movement said the uncovering of the plot followed information from their intelligence unit that the JTF had perfected arrangements to wipe out MASSOB in the state by gradually eliminating the leaders.
Director of Information, Awka Division of MASSOB, Paul Obiokoye who disclosed this to newsmen stated that the JTF has orders to “brutally attack MASSOB members and throw them into detention for merely wearing MASSOB uniforms, displaying flags and other insignia, not minding that we have maintained non-violent approach in our struggle.”
But, in a swift reaction, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor on Media, Mr. Emeka Ozumba described MASSOB’s claim as “baseless, unfounded and devoid of any element of truth.”
He noted that Governor Obiano has since assumption of office worked tirelessly to clear the state of criminal elements and make Anambra State safe and peaceful for development to thrive, hence the setting up of the JTF to carry out the clean up exercise.
Ozumba further explained that there was no cause for anybody in the state to be afraid or panic except the person engages in “criminal or unlawful activities that constitute a threat to peace and security of the state.”
However, Obiokoye giving credence to the Movement’s claim cited the case of the MASSOB Awka Regional Administrator, Chief Annie Igbani who according to him was almost lynched by the JTF on March 28 this year in front of Dozzy Filling Station, Onitsha for no just cause.
Narrating Chief Igbani’s ordeal, he alleged that the mission of JTF was to kill him, but they were prevented by the large crowd in the area.
He said, “They broke one of his legs earlier damaged by the military and damaged his eyes. They took him to the Army barracks where he was tortured with other people before he was taken to the State CID Awka. He was kept there for one week, denied access to medical treatment because he belonged to MASSOB.
“The Police later charged him to court for belonging to an unlawful association. Has putting MASSOB flag on cars become an offence? Which law is it written in Nigeria? There is nothing like that. In the World Human Rights Charter, there is freedom of association. You have the right to belong to any country you like. Nobody can question your citizenry.
“While Igbani was about being taken to court, a police officer who claimed to have eliminated many MASSOB members, accosted him and told him that even if the court allows him to go, he would be assassinated.
“They later took him to Court and the Court granted him bail. They were taken to CPS to perfect his bail and there, an Igbo man who claims to be a SARS commander and has killed many MASSOB members, came to Igbani and told him that he would die.”
Obiokoye therefore called on their leader, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike to come and save them from the JTF, just as he appealed to the United Nations that intervened in Boko Haram to quickly intervene in Anambra State to save MASSOB members. The Sun