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Biafra: Police On Red Alert Over MASSOB's Threat


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Vanguard (Lagos)

October 20, 2003
Posted to the web October 20, 2003

Chidi Nkwopara

Scores of officers and men of Imo State police command at the weekend, took strategic positions in all the 27 local government areas of the state, following reports that members of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), would declare their dream republic on October 18, 2003. Vanguard gathered that in the three senatorial zones of the state, stern looking police men and other plain clothed security operatives, were busy observing movements, as well as kept vigil at Ahiara, Mbaise and Okwe, Onuimo country home of the MASSOB leader, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike.

As at 6.45 p.m last Saturday, when Vanguard returned to Owerri, Imo State capital, after the monitoring exercise, no clash was recorded between the police and MASSOB members. Speaking exclusively to Vanguard, a house wife who identified herself as Mrs Cecilia Ugosinachi said she did not like the way some people were wasting precious lives for a senseless idea. "I am not happy about the way some people have been wasting precious lives in a senseless pursuit of an idea that would never materialize. The most disturbing thing is that a lot of those who claim to be fighting for realisation of Biafra do not even know why they are being used by Chief Uwazuruike and his acolytes," Mrs. Ugosinachi lamented.

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While agreeing that the Federal Government may not have been fair to the South East geo-political zone , she however expressed the view that it was no good reason for Ndigbo to waste their lives in pursuit of Biafra. "War does nobody any good. Have the protagonists of the dream republic of Biafran talked with our neighbouring state? Where will this dream Biafra begin and end? These are issues the protagonists must sort out first, before embarking in their wild goose chase,", Ugosinachi said.

She appealed to her fellow mothers to check the activities of their children, stressing that "anybody who is gainfully employed would not have the time to waste on frivolities like the dream republic".

In his own comment, a young man from Okwe, Onuimo local government area of the state who pleaded anonymity, said that "the sorry activities of Uwazuruike, had seriously attracted the attention of security agencies to the area". It was his considered view that "although the police men were not molesting anybody, we are no doubt afraid of the unknown".

Continuing, the man said that the imposing presence of the security agencies have virtually forced loyalists of Uwazuruike to scamper into the safety of their homes. When contacted, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hezekiah Dimka, said his command had been on red alert since the past one week.

"This command has been at alert since the past seven days. We are not disturbing any law abiding citizen but we would not like to be taken unawares by anybody, including the MASSOB loyalists", Dimka said. Asked to say what the police would do if they encoutered MASSOB activists, the Imo police boss said his men had been properly briefed before they were sent out on the assignment.

As at the time of going to press, no report of any arrest was received.