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Onitsha crisis: 3 MASSOB members killed, 2 wounded

Posted by From VAL OKARA, Owerri and JOE OMOKARO, Awka on 2006/06/23 | Views: 495 |

Onitsha crisis: 3 MASSOB members killed, 2 wounded


Three suspected Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) members were Thursday shot dead by the joint military/police team.....

Three suspected Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) members were Thursday shot dead by the joint military/police team in a mop-up-operation to curb the one-week old mayhem in Onitsha, Anambra State.

Two of their mates were also wounded in a raid on the separatist group’s hide-out in Afaka forest reserve, Onitsha.
In the same vein, two policemen were wounded after stepping on a landmine laid by the fleeing MASSOB members in Afaka forest after the Onitsha prison.

The two policemen injured in the blast, Corporal Samuel Enwonwanwi and Inspector Lawrence Edeh attached to the State Anti-Robbery Squad, Awka, were among the team combing the area for MASSOB activists. They were rushed to a private hospital in Awka.

The Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) in charge of Federal Operations, Mike Okiro, confirmed the incident to Daily Sun at the state headquarters, Awka, saying because of the mines, he had ordered the immediate deployment of a unit of bomb disposal squad to move to the bushes where the policemen are still in operation. The bomb squad is coming from Lagos and Abuja.

Meanwhile, 400 policemen have been deployed in Onitsha from various parts of the country. Among the police personnel are two deputy commissioners from Lagos and Abuja.
In another development, MASSOB has implored the State Security Services (SSS) to arrest and prosecute a member of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Chris Ubah for alleged complicity in the Onitsha crisis. The group, in a statement by its deputy director of information, Mazi Chris Mocha, alleged that Chief Ubah contracted members of the NARTO to cause violence and inflict hardship on the people of the state.

“Chris Ubah is being used by the PDP-led government through his NARTO to cause chaos and create anarchy and police see him as untouchable,” the statement said.
Mazi Mocha further alleged that police high command, Abuja, could not feign ignorance of those who were behind the protracted mayhem and loss of lives in the state. “Police authorities know the culprits who are NARTO officials backed by police and they see Chief Chris Ubah as untouchable, the man that cannot be arrested or prosecuted. They allow him to be moving freely untouched but continue to arrest innocent Igbo in the name of clamping down on MASSOB.”

According to him, MASSOB has no hand in the on-going crisis at Ogbaru and Onitsha that has claimed the lives of 19 members of the group and blamed it (crisis) on the paid agents of PDP.
He restated the group’s resolve to pursue its struggle for the independent state of Biafra through peaceful resolution as it has no reason to engage in any form of violence to achieve its goal.

“While we continue to vigorously pursue the struggle for an independent state of Biafra in line with the peaceful method of our leader, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, we will have no reason whatsoever now or in future to resort or engage in any form of violence to achieve this project. With our non-violence, we have defeated our enemy.”

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.