SECESSIONIST group the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (Massob) has accused Nigeria’s federal government of sponsoring the recent violence in the southeast of the country including the breakout at Owerri Prison in Imo State.
Over recent weeks, there has been an upsurge of violence in the southeast geo-political zone, especially in Imo State where there have been drive-by shootings and confrontations between the police and the Eastern Security Network (ESN), the armed wing of the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob) . On Monday, things escalated significantly when the Owerri Prison was attacked and 1,800 prisoners were released.
In addition, the headquarters of the Imo State Police Command was attacked with weapons and ammunition carted away. Responding to this upsurge in violence, Massob leader, Uchenna Madu, said intelligence showed that the attacks were perpetrated by protected bandits sponsored by the federal government.
He added that the purpose was to create scenario whereby pro-Biafra agitators could be painted as violent, thus giving the government an excuse to clamp down on them. According to Mr Madu, Massob and other pro-Biafra groups do not condone violence so could not be behind the recent developments..
Mr Madu said: “The leadership of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra has condemned the incessant criminal terrorism and security deterioration in Igboland. Massob condemned the terrorist attack on Chukwuma Soludo at Isuofia and we equally condemned the unwarranted killings of Ebonyi State indigenous citizens by Fulani terrorist herdsmen.
“Massob condemns in totality the breaking into Owerri Prison by the so-called unknown gunmen. However, we have to ask how can untrained and amateurs with no military training overpower the entire security apparatus of Nigeria in the southeast?
“Why is it that there was no security resistance during the break into Owerri Prisons and Imo State Police headquarters in an operation that lasted more than one hour? Nigeria’s military cantonment, Obinze, Owerri, is seven minutes’ drive to the scenes of the crime and the Imo State Mobile Police base is three minutes’ drive to the scenes of the crime but there was no resistance from security agencies.
“These terrorist attacks in Owerri are part of the ongoing destructive measures by the President Muhamadu Buhari-led administration to discredit and blackmail the pro-Biafra organisations to create an erroneous impression that Biafrans are waging war against Nigeria. Massob advises Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State to stop heaping blame on Ipob or ESN or any other pro-Biafra organisations as pro-Biafra agitators are not responsible for the terrorist activities in Igboland.”