No fewer than 13 suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) were on Monday arrested by the Police for alleged unlawful protest in Enugu.
The Enugu Police spokesman, Ebere Amaraizu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the suspects were arrested on Obiagu Road in the Coal City, while commemorating “Biafran fallen heroes and heroines of the 1967 -1970 Civil War”. He said they were apprehended with flags of Biafra.
Amaraizu said the command had embarked on a surveillance of the state following reports of planned protests.
He urged members of the public to report any form of illegal assemblies in their areas.
Also, the police in Owerri on Monday arrested some 17 members of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) for holding a road show in commemoration of 49th anniversary of Biafra.
The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Andrew Enwerem, who confirmed the arrests, said those arrested would be prosecuted.
The MASSOB members began the march at Waterside Primary School, Owerri, from where they moved to Rotibi Street to Oguamana Street before linking Douglas Road.
At Douglas Road the marchers met heavily armed security men, who threw teargas at them at Ama JK end of the street and arrested some.
Okechukwu Nwogu, a leader of MASSOB, said it was regrettable that the police arrested members of the group who were on a peaceful march to commemorate the 49th anniversary of Biafra and 17th anniversary of MASSOB.
“What Nigeria government is doing to us is very unfair; MASSOB is a non-violent group moving without arms in remembrance of our history.”
Nwogu called on Igbo leaders to come out and speak for Igbo people being unjustly treated by security forces.
Earlier Canice Anojuru, the spokesman for MASSOB in Owerri zone, said the group decided to hold the road show to awaken the consciousness of the people of the defunct Biafra.
Anojuru said the road show was to draw the attention of international community to the plight of Biafra people.
He added that the group had achieved a lot despite obvious challenges.
On the recent invasion of Nimbo community in Enugu state by suspected Fulani herdsmen, the group advised the people of South-East to be more vigilant to forestall future attacks in the area.
“As a group, we frown at the rate at which human beings were killed and maimed, farmlands destroyed, women raped, and buildings razed by these Fulani herdsmen. We are calling on all people of Southeast area to be more vigilant and extra careful over this recent development,” Anojuru said.
The group advised people of the area to be careful in engaging people whose identity were not clear to them as security men, gardeners and house-keepers.