In 1960, fifty thousand Igbo Biafran men, women, and children were rounded up in several cities, towns and villages in Northern and Western Nigeria and slaughtered like chicken. Young girls were gang raped by scores of men and then corralled to leper colonies to be raped by lepers before being killed. Nursing mothers had their breasts cut off. Pregnant women first had their abdomen cut open; the fetuses yanked out and kicked like footballs before the babies were slaughtered. Men had gasoline poured on them then set ablaze to burn like bonfires. Several hundred thousand men and women were hacked, tortured, maimed, mouth slit open from ear to ear, limbs chopped off, eyes gouged out, and other types of unspeakable acts of brutality. In all, over two million Igbo Biafran refuges ran back to their homeland in Eastern Nigeria as refuges. Nigeria did this to the Igbo and other people of Eastern Nigeria in 1966. Most of the people who organized and supervised the perpetration of this crime have gone on to become Heads of State of Nigeria and have wined and dined with leaders of the free world. Satisfied that the world did not react to their heinous crimes against an innocent people, Nigeria’s leaders declared a war of genocide on Igbo Biafrans.
The Nigerian government completely blockaded Biafra by land, sea and air. Then, she went on to commit the worst genocide since World War 11, second only to the Jewish holocaust in its brutality, horror, inhumanity, and brazen barbarism. Top Nigerian government officials following in the footstep of Hitler, stated categorically as official Nigeria government policy, “starvation is a legitimate instrument of warfare.” Just as Hitler did to the Jews, the Nigerian government went on to starve to death two million innocent Igbo Biafran babies, children, pregnant women, old men and women. The Nigerian government poisoned food, including baby’ milk with arsenic, cyanide and other poisons and smuggled these into Biafran territory. No one knows how many thousand of babies, children, and adults were thus murdered, poisoned to death by the Nigerian government. A report by a team of experts (chemist, microbiologist, pharmacist, micro-chemical analyst, and expert in forensic medicine) led by a United State Senator, Charles Goodell who visited Biafra and examined samples of food, confirmed that food items, especially salt, powdered and evaporated milk smuggled into Biafra by Nigeria, were poisoned with arsenic and cyanide (US congressional Record, 1969, P.4374.) To maximize the number of Igbo Biafrans killed during this genocidal war, the Nigerian government instructed her pilots to target hospitals, open markets, refugee camps, children’s feeding centers, Churches, schools, and to bomb and strafe them without mercy. Again no one knows the exact number of Igbo Biafrans civilians who were killed in these genocidal bombings. Then, the Biafra/Nigeria war ended in January 1970 and the Nigeria government shut down all avenues for food to get into the former Biafran territory. The result was that more people died of starvation in the few months after the end of the war than in the few months before the end of the war.
Between 1970 and 1980, the Igbo rebounded in most sectors of life despite Nigeria government policies that were designed to permanently relegate the Igbo economically, socially and politically to an inconsequential and ineffectual status in the Nigerian sociopolitical environment. Then Nigerians started attacking the Igbo in several cities in Northern and Western Nigeria and by 2006, several thousand Igbos had been killed in such attacks and their property and goods worth billions of dollars looted and burned by Nigerians. Not one person has ever been arrested, charged or punished for killing the Igbo in Northern and Western Nigeria. The Igbo who have been living under the illusions of being integrated into the Nigerian society became convinced that no matter what they do Nigeria has only one scheme for them, intimidation, marginalization, persecution, forced Islamitization, torture and eventual annihilation.
It was on this premise that the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) was found by the Igbo and other people of Eastern Nigeria. MASSOB is a non-violent Civil Rights Movement whose goal is the actualization of the sovereign State of Biafra through non-violent means. The movement adopts and follows the philosophy and practice of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. MASSOB has stated categorically that its members do not carry any weapons or engage in any violence. Rather, it mobilizes the people of Biafra through persuasion and education. Now the entire population of Eastern Nigeria is now been fully mobilized for Biafran independence in according with the 4th stage of the struggle. The Nigeria government, realizing that it has completely lost the support of the Igbo and other people of Eastern Nigeria, resorted to violence and extra judicial murder of members of MASSOB and other Igbo. The happenings in the years immediately after the formation of MASSOB are memorable to recall. Chief Ralph Uwazuruike and other MASSOB members have been arrested several times (Post Express 20 Apr. 2000; Vanguard 29 Agu. 2000; The News 21 Sept. 2000). On 24 May 2000, 54 people were arrested “for hoisting a Biafran flag in Aba, an action considered as an attempt to topple the Federal Government administration” (Vanguard 29 Aug. 2000; The News 21 Sept. 2000). Eleven others were arrested in Umuahia, Abia State, also on charges of “unlawful assembly” and “felony.” If convicted, the accused persons face a one-year sentence for unlawful assembly and life imprisonment for treasonable felony (ibid., 29 Aug. 2000).
Apparently, Uwazuruike had narrowly escaped death in Lagos when “unidentified gunmen attacked his car along Oshodi-Apapa Expressway” (PM News18 May 2000). He was arrested in Lome, Togo during the 36th Organization for African Unity (OAU) Summit meeting. He had allegedly gone to Lome to present his case for the actualization of Biafra to the World (Vanguard Daily 17 July 2000, ibid; 12 July 2000). He further claimed that 2,000 members of MASSOB were being detained without cause or trial in Nigeria (ibid.).
According to the Vanguard Daily of 29 August 2000, the Magistrate of Umuahia dismissed the case of treasonable felony against some members of MASSOB for lack of Jurisdiction and 54 others were reportedly granted bail (ibid.). However, in October 2000, MASSOB alleged that 20 of its members continued to be detained at Anambra State Police Command (ibid Oct. 2000). AFP reports Uwazuruike’s home was ransacked by security agents at the beginning of December 2000. Security also ransacked a hotel and “shot up several cars, and fired in crowds in their search for him” (ibid.). Several sources reported on the alleged killing by police of MASSOB members in Okigwe, Imo State in February 2001 (The News 12 Jan. 2002; This Day 12 Feb. 2001; Vanguard Daily 18 Feb. 2001) and the action by police against the group (Post Express 4 Mar. 2001; Vanguard Daily 5 Mar. 2001; ibid. 26 Feb. 2001). The police denied the killing, but confirmed that MASSOB leader, Ralph Uwazuruike, had been arrested and prosecuted (PM News 15 Feb. 2001; BBC 8 Feb. 2001). On 18 May 2001, police in Enugu arrested some 22 MASSOB members as they were traveling to Okigwe for allegedly to mark 22 May as the “new Biafra independence anniversary” (Vanguard 22 May 2001). On 30 May 2001, police in Port Harcourt, Rivers State arraigned 45 MASSOB members charge with treason (Guardian 31 May 2001). The accused had allegedly “declare[ed] a state of Biafra by hoisting the defunct secessionist flag at Oyigbo” (ibid.).
Vanguard reported that an advisor to MASSOB, Dr. Marvin Iheomu, was declared missing by the movement after he was allegedly kidnapped from his Okigwe home on 22 May 2001 (29 May 2001). According to Uwazuruike, police again attacked members of MASSOB on 4 December 2001, leaving some 10 dead (The News 12 Jan. 2002). MASSOB members also held the police responsible for burning “Biafran House,” the MASSOB headquarters in Okigwe, on 19 December 2001 (ibid.). According to Uwazuruike, some 1000 members of MASSOB are imprisoned across the country (This Day 16 Mar. 2002; Vanguard 5 Apr. 2002).
More recently in February 2003, more than fifty member of MASSOB were slaughtered when they ran into an ambush laid by the Nigerian Army and paramilitary Mobile police Force. More than 50,00 members of MASSOB were on their way to a public rally in Port Harcourt when they were ambushed, attacked and murdered. All were shot in the back while running away from the ambush. The Nigerian government covered up the crime by collecting the corpses and disposing them in secret locations, thereby destroying the evidence. [ADDENUM] Nigeria Mobile police also arrested 13 MASSOB members on 29 April 2003 in Lagos. They spent nearly 6 members in Abuja police prison area 10 Garriki. They were arraigned at Igbosere magistrate court, Obalende Lagos. [ENDADDENUM] In October of that same year police and SSS men who stormed the venue and arrested 26 participants dispersed an enlightenment/mobilization outing, which we undertook to Ebony State. No one knows till date the where about of these MASSOBIANS.
Most of the time the Nigeria army and police arrested Members of MASSOB simply for holding a lawful assembly in privacy of their homes, possessing MASSOB ID cards or possessing Biafran flag, crest, car sticker or key chain. Nigerian government’s paramilitary police “disappeared” these innocent individuals without any trace ever again. This practice reminiscent of Pinochet’s rule in Chile now in use by the Federal Government of Nigeria against the MASSOB members in particular and Igbos in general. Recently, the harassment and murder of members of MASSOB has reached intolerable levels. Security agents detained hundreds of members in various police cells where they receive cruel treatments, which other detainees do not receive. On April 16, the Kaduna State police command arrested 17 MASSOB members and has charged them for treason. They have been arraigned before a chief magistrate court and are still languishing in prison. Similarly, more than 150 members where arrested by plain-clothed policemen and men of the State Security Services in a Catholic Church in Kaduna. However, security sources said only four persons were picked. What happened to the rest? Have they “disappeared” as expected? When wills this stop?
The most gut wrenching story is that of 53 members of MASSOB who were arrested by the government of Nigeria and placed in maximum security since September 11, 2004. They were arrested because they were playing a football (soccer) match dubbed “Biafra Freedom Football Tournament” in a public park in Lagos, Nigeria. Others were just spectators watching the football match. Some were selling sachets of cold drinking water to those watching the football match. One of those detainees is a man over seventy years old, another is a pregnant woman, and yet another is a fifteen year old girl, Chioma. The government of Nigeria has charged these people with conspiracy to overthrow the government of Nigeria, and treason, both offenses being punishable by death. All the detainees have one thing in common: they are all MASSOB members and Igbos. Daily Champion Newspaper of April 12, 2005, reported that one of the detainees, Christopher Okafor, appeared before the judge with bloodstains on his arm and a lacerated body. Obviously the Nigerian government, while in detention, is torturing these detainees. Only 49 of the 53 detainees were brought to court. It is now being suspected that the missing detainees may have been “disappeared” by the government of President Olusegun Obasanjo. Counsel to the detainees wondered aloud how participating in a football tournament is akin to levying war on the government of Nigeria and against President Olusegun Obasanjo.
More recently, despite an injunction restraining the police and SS from arresting, harassing, intimidating or killing of our leader, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, he had brushes with security operatives this last weekend and he narrowly escaped a police bullet aimed at him. Police on Friday stormed his base apparently to abort the international rally declared by MASSOB. His home was completely ransacked and properties stolen by these agents of Obasanjo. You can then imagine what happens to ordinary members who have no court injunctions In their favor, there are many more arrests in Rivers, Anambra, Imo, Enugu, Ebonyi, and Abia State and other parts of Nigeria. Nobody knows how many MASSOB members the Nigeria government has killed or clamped in jail for absolutely no offense.
We wish to draw the attention of the world to this fact that while General Obasanjo is persecuting and killing members of the non – violent civil rights movement, MASSOB, most of them who are Igbo, while he himself admonished the British Colonial Government for amalgamating the Northern and Southern Protectorates of Nigeria. He States, “the British Colonial Authorities created the Northern and Southern Protectorates without taking cognizance of the distinct cultural and linguistic differences of the various ethnic groupings and worse still, without any form of consultation with the people. They compromised opportunities for internally driven development, underdeveloped the society and negated structures of endogenously propelled state building.” (Punch April 27, 2005). In addition, two former British colonial officers, Peter Smithers, Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister of State and the Secretary of State in the Colonial Office (1952-1959) while commenting on the amalgamation of Northern and southern Nigeria, states, “but in retrospect, it is clear that this was a grave mistake which has cost many lives and will probably continue to do so. It should have been better to establish smaller state in a free trade area” (The Guardian, London). Another British colonial officer, Mr. Smith, has said essentially the same thing (www. Liberates. Demon. Couk). It boggles the mind why President Obasanjo will be killing Igbo people for saying essentially the same thing that he and former British colonial officers are saying.
To further lay credence to MASSOB’s call for our independent state Biafra, the United State National Intelligence Council, in a document entitled, “Mapping Sub-Sahara Africa’s Future” has predicted “outright collapse of Nigeria” as a nation-state within the next 15 years. In a swift response, President Olusegun Obasanjo described the prediction as “glibly talk” arising from “dubious or diabolical benchmarks.” On page 17 of the report under the heading, “Downside Risks,” the US Intelligences claimed that “while currently Nigeria’s leaders are locked in a bad marriage that all dislike but dare not leave, there are possibilities that could disrupt the precarious equilibrium in Abuja.” To underscore the importance of this document, the US has again warned the Nigeria Government after listening to its reaction on the report.
The Igbo are shocked that while President Obasanjo is arresting, jailing, persecuting, torturing, and killing young non-violent Igbo members of MASSOB, he has left untouched an organization, Odua Youth Movement, in his native Yorubaland, which is campaigning for the establishment of a sovereign independent Yoruba Nation to be called Oduduwa Republic. He has also left unchallenged two Yoruba ethnic paramilitary militia, Oodua peoples Congress (OPC), which has recently united its factions and has been classified as a terrorist organization by the government of the United States, and another, Yoruba paramilitary ethnic militia, United Self Determination Platform of Oodua, (UEPO). These violent Yoruba ethnic militia have murdered hundreds of innocent civilians in Lagos and Western Nigeria, killed scores of policemen, confiscated their weapons and sacked numerous police stations. Yet, General Obasanjo has not unleashed the Nigerian Security agencies on them or charged them with levying war on the Nigeria government. Rather, leaders of these Yoruba ethnic militia have been given plum appointments by General Obasanjo in important Nigeria Federal Government agencies. The result is that these violent Yoruba ethnic militia now operate openly from Federal Government police Stations.
We state categorically that the Igbo have been pushed to the wall with respect to the oppression, persecution, and extra judicial murder of their citizens. In the eyes of every Igbo man, woman and child, Nigeria is now like Hitler’s Germany, Pinvchet’s Chile, Idi Amin’s Uganda, and Botha’s apartheid South Africa rolled into one. The Nigerian police and its sister SSS have unleashed its brutal handiwork on the Igbo people. This is not expected to stop as this corrupt police forces SSS has masterminded the killing of many of its own prominent citizens, including its former Attorney General/Minister of Justice and its so-called investigations have never solved any of the killings. The only way for Biafrans to get away from these continuous acts of brutality is to actualize the independent state of Biafra as MASSOB has always said.
Nigerians in diaspora have cautioned Obasanjo over the harassment and killings of members of MASSOB despite their non-violent nature. The Civil Liberties Organization (CLO), a human right group, has equally stated that the Nigerian Government’s continued arrest, torture, detention and killing of MASSOB members in defiance of court orders and international laws is a gross violation of human rights. The whole world should join in the condemnation of this as this is not frivolous or wishful talk. Human beings are being killed on a daily basis. Agents of Obasanjo are wasting life that is sacrosanct at will. MASSOB and the Biafra Foundation, on behalf of Igbos, have made several appeals to Heads of States and Government, religious leaders, leaders of the free world, journalists, human rights organizations and activists and all men and woman of conscience to please prevail on the President of Nigeria, General Olusegun Obasanjo, to cease and desist from the ongoing persecution and extra judicial murder of MASSOB members and Igbo men, woman and children. It is most important to let the President of Nigeria remember that God has had more than enough mercy for him and he must be called soon to answer to why he never accepted to have a change in heart and see Biafrans as human beings despite all the opportunities he had to do this. It was he in 1970 who took report about the end of the war of genocide on Igbo Biafrans to Lagos. He would later on become Head of State accidentally in 1976. During the last days of Gen. Abacha, he was to be killed as his former 2nd in Command Gen. Yar’adua who died in prison but for Abacha’s sudden death. The days just after his released by Gen. Abdulsalami, in his first interview he vowed never again to take part in the dirty politics in Nigeria as he then correctly referred to it. Now, not only has he taken part in politics, but unlike the world acclaimed icon, Nelson Mandela, Mr. So-called President is on his second term presently and aspiring for a third term through his sycophants. I really wonder, what type of man is this?
There is limit to human endurance and the Igbo are tired of being persecuted. They want their freedom in the independent Republic of Biafra. No price is too great for freedom and liberty. Biafran is no more a thing of the mind, it is what is wanted by more than 95 percent of Biafrans. A referendum of this by the UN will affirm this. Thousands of MASSOB members and supporters of the agitation for the revalidation of Biafra have been incarcerated, maimed and even killed, which is against the Nigeria constitution (Chap. 4) 1999, and the various International Charters and Conventions on Civil and Political Rights. These Charters and Convention stipulates that one have rights to life, dignity of human person, personal liberty, fair hearing, freedom of worship, expression, freedom of the press, freedom to peaceful assembly and association, freedom to acquire and own immovable property and anywhere in Nigeria and against compulsory acquisition of property.
The article (1) in Human Right Chapter, says, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reasons and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” The article 3,4,5,9,10,12 stipulates that “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. (4)No one shall be held in slavery of Servitude. Slavery and slaves trade shall be prohibited in all from. (5)No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, Inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. Every one is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an Independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and Obligations and of any criminal change against him.”
MASSOB members in the past 6years of their Non-violent agitation for the sovereign state of Biafra have been subjected to arbitrary arrest detention, torture and Interference with their privacy and rights. The Universal Declaration on human Rights guarantees the right of nationality and indicates that no one shall be deprived of his nationality nor denied rights to change his nationality. It also guarantees the rights to freedom of Opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media, regardless of frontiers. It guarantees the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
In the past 6 years, there have been gross abuses of human rights, extra judicial killing and other abuses suffered by members of the Movement for the actualization of the sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) at the hand of the police, SSS and Soldiers in Nigeria. Since the Movement organized a successful sit at home protest against the Government of Nigeria in August 26th 2004, incidents of violent violation of the rights of MASSOB members have increased MASSOB and continues to maintain the Non-violent posture of the struggle to actualize Biafra. The Security Agents claim that the activity of MASSOB is posing a political threat to Nigeria Government. The police has persistently harassed scores of MASSOB members and SSS acting on order from the Federal Government. Police, SSS and Soldiers have routinely raided MASSOB offices and the home of Chief Ralph Uwazuruike and during the raids, perhaps looking for exhibits to prosecute the detained members, they got disappointed for their failure to confiscate weapons at the offices of MASSOB.
Scores of MASSOB Members have been extra-judicially killed by the Police, particularly during 2000-2001, one of the most serious incidents of killing occurred on March 29, 2003 just before the Election. On March 29, 2003, armed police men deployed from Owerri police Command reportedly stopped a large convoy of MASSOB members at Umulolo, near Okigwe, in Imo State, in attempt to disperse them. Hausa policemen among the team opened fire at the crowd of MASSOB members, killing several of them. Many were shot in the back as they tried to escape into the bush. MASSOB authority claimed to have lost over 100 of its members at the Umulolo massacre while hundreds also sustained serious injuries. MASSOB authorities also claimed that on June 16, 2003, 17 of its members were shot dead by the Nigeria police during a police raid of MASSOB secretariat at Nkpor, near Onitsha town, Anambra State. The police denied killing any MASSOB members but claimed that the incident was an armed robbery which led to a shoot-out between the robbers and the police.
MASSOB members have been arrested and detained for a prolonged period without trials and under torture in police cells or prison custody. Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, the MASSOB leader, has been arrested several times, on March 29, 2003, and again arrested on August 25, 2005 near his residence in Okwe. He is at the time of this report detained at Minna prison and later to keffi prison over Biafran agitation. On the same March 29, 2003, more than 150 MASSOB members were arrested by the police, where they were first detained at Owerri prison, then in Abuja and were charged with conspiracy, unlawful assembly and misdemeanor. Chief Uwazuruike and the others were released on bail on June 6, 2003. After the 2003 Election, he remained in detention throughout the period of Election.
The following are cases of arrests and violations of the rights of MASSOB members:
October 15,2000, Obigbo
On the 15th October 2000 at Obigbo town-ship school, around 4:55 pm, a team of armed policemen stormed a MASSOB rally ground and arrested many people. They opened fired at a group of MASSOB members who gathered at the school premises for mobilization and enlightenment campaign program. They arrested 5 MASSOB members namely Hon Jerry Nwokocha, Benson Amaka, Mathew Amike, Christian Iwuagwu, Goding Okwuchi. They were detained at Obigbo Police Station for one month, two weeks. They shot sporadically and Mr. Christian Iwuagwu was shot in the leg, while many sustained serious injuries, Mr Christian is well now, but limps with half leg he is a life to testify about the incidence.
October 23, 2000, Owerri, Report on police arrest of MASSOB members
We boarded one bus to Owerri magistrate court to bail our members supposed to be brought to court on 23rd Oct 2000. Upon reaching the Nekede Junction, a team of Operation Smash started chasing our vehicle and started shooting at our bus. On reaching the court premises we found out the court was not sitting, then policemen surrounded us and arrested us. We were taken to an Operation Smash Office for interrogation. After we were tortured, they took us to state CID Owerri for more interrogation and we were maltreated as armed robbers. After interrogation, we were pushed inside the cell for some days.
Charge No OW/485C/ 2000 MASSOB members were arrested by the Nigerian police at Obehie junction around 11.00am on 9th Jan 2001 while they were on mobilization program. Those arrested were taken to the Obehie Divisional police headquarters for interrogation. When they reached the station, they were tortured and brutalized as animals and dumped in a hazard area. By 5.00pm some MASSOB members from Aba came to secure their bail.
January 9, 2001, Obehie Ukwa, West L.G.A.
Charge No OW/485C/ 2000
MASSOB members were arrested by the Nigerian police at Obehie junction around 11.00am on 9th Jan 2001 while they were on mobilization program. Those arrested were taken to the Obehie Divisional police headquarters for interrogation. When they reached the station, they were tortured and brutalized as animals and dumped in a hazard area. By 5.00pm some MASSOB members from Aba came to secure their bail.
- Uzoma Ukeachu
- Augustine Uzoma
- Lambert Ubechi
- Stephen Nome
- Chinonye Nwachukwu
- Chukwudi Nwachukwu
- Emeka Obi
- Ikechukwu Ndubuisi
March 29, 2002, Asaba
Mr. Joseph Odikpo and the other 17 members were arrested by the Nigerian Police men while returning from Aba during a MASSOB rally. The police arrested them and detained them at C.P.S Onitsha for two days before they were transferred to State C.I.D Awka for three months. They were charged for treasonable felony and unlawful society. The MASSOB members were arrested because they were in possession of Biafran flags, I.D. cards and stickers with Biafran insignias. They were interrogated in police custody and were tortured, beaten and forced to renounce their membership of MASSOB, but they maintained that they are Biafrans and cannot deny it. They spent huge amount of money before they were granted bail.
April 12, 2002, Obigbo Rivers State
Men of the Nigeria police on patrol at Ubakala Junction arrested 20 MASSOB members while they were returning from MASSOB rally. The names of the arrested members are Hon Boniface Nnachi, John Nweha Samuel Kalu, Ethelbert Olekamma, Ephriam Okeke, Ambrose Onyemelam; Iruka Ezeugo, Onyekachi, Friday Obi, and Hycieth Ulu, Udo Ebogu, Chigozie Ogbu, Enyioma Ibeabuclu, Festus Anyaegbuulam, Ndubueze Ojukwu, Ikechukwu Obi, Elias Okonkwo, Levi Nduka, Adolphus Uzoegbu, Ngozi Erondu, These MASSOB members were detained at Ubakala divisional police headquarters in Umuahia from13th sept 2002 to 15th sept 2002 and were later transferred to police force headquarters Abuja on 16th Sept to 15th November 2002.The police in other to make it difficult for them to contact their lawyers, friends and relations kept on transferring them from one police cell to another. On 16th Nov, 2002, these MASSOB members were taken to state C.I.D Lokoja Kogi state from were they were transferred to Lokoja Divisional police Headquarters Kogi State from 16th Nov-19th December 2002, before they were arraigned in Federal High court Afara Umuahia on 19th December, 2002. They were arrested for being in possession of items such as Flags, calendars of MASSOB and for admitting supporting the Biafran Republic. While they were in detention, their children and wives suffered untold hardship, hunger and sickness.
September 9, 2002, Aba
MASSOB members were arrested on 9th of September 2002 along Niger Road by Obohia Road Aba around 10:00 pm. On that fateful day, while they were in peaceful rally to show solidarity with United States of America in remembrance of September 11th 2001 terrorist attack on America. (one year anniversary), the peaceful rally was conducted with some placard written:
- a. Biafrans we are sorry for the terrorist attack
- b. Terrorism is evil
- c. Osama- bin Laden is evil
- d. Biafrans are against September 11th attack
- e. No Biafra, No peace
- f. Say yes to Biafra, No to Nigeria.
- g. Hail America for fighting against terrorism.
- Uzoma Ukeachu, 25
- Bernabas Onyeama, 27
- Pastor Ezekiel Ekeoma, 30
- Bernard Ukaegbu, 34
- Emmanuel Akagha, 38
- Michael Okonkwo Ngwa, 37
- Ignatus Iroanya, 45
- Peter Nwankwo, 29
- Rowland Ibiam, 29
- Charles Ogunka, 34
- Innocent I.E. Uruakpa, 22
- Lawrence Ijeomanta, 32
- Emmanuel Madubuko, 42
- Alaoma Omeweaku, 19
- Nathaneal Ngwakwe, 42
- Chukwezie Onwuka, 21
- Elias Okonkwo, 21
- Emeka Okoro, 21
- Ifeanyi Okoro, 22
- Peter Okoro, 25
They were arrested and tortured with hot pressing iron. They were brutalized with iron gun and tear gas. They were brutalized for 7 hours at Central Police Station in Aba after which they were taken to Umuahia for more interrogation which lasted for two days at zone 9 and State CID Umuahia.
- Central police Station Aba – 9th September 2002
- Zone 9 Umuahia – 9th September 2002
- State CID Umuahia – 9th -11th September 2002
- State CID Lokojah (kogi State) 12th September 2002 -(Six hours detention)
- Area 10 Garki State CID Abuja – 12th September 2002
- Force HQRS Abuja – 12th September 2002 (7 hours detention)
- Kubuwa Divisional Police Hqs Abuja 12th September 2002(three hours detention)
- Gwari D.P. Hqs Abuja – 12th -13th September 2002
- Bwari Divisional Police Hqs Abuja was burnt down by hoodlums while we were in the Jail on 13th September 2002
- Force Headquarters Abuja – 13th 2002 (three hours)
- Area commander Hqs. Maitama Abuja -13th -16th September 2002. twenty people were packed in cell measuring 7m square which we nearly give up due to no sufficient air penetrating there.
- Life camp police Hqs Abuja -16th September 2002(four hours detention)
- Kuje divisional Hqs Abuja- 16th Sept- 15th Nov 2002. We served at Kuje Police Station without food and water and the Cell was not conducive for human beings to stay. Aba and Obigbo Massobians were brought together at Kuje police cell.
- State C.I.D Lokojah (Kogi State)- 15th Nor 2002 (three hours detention)
- Lokojah Divisional Police Hqs- 15th -16th November 2002
- State C.I.D Enugu – 16th Nov 2002 (8 hours detention). Central police station Umuahia 16th – Nov- 19th December 2002. We served at C.P.S Umuahia without food and water. The nature of the police cell is very hazardous. Thirty-six people were packed inside a room which can only contain Eighteen people
- Federal prisons Afara- Umuahia- 19th December 2002-14th Nov 2003. Charge No is FHC/um/117c/02 Note
September16, 2002, Obigbo
- Ubakalla Divisional police Hqs- 13th sept 2002
- Central police station -13th-15th sept 2002, they were treated as if they were criminals.
Those arrested are as follow:
- Ngozi Erondu 40
- John mmecha 42
- Ephram okeke 35
- Ethelbert olekanma 40
- Levi Nnuka 28
- Samuel Kalu 41
- Elias Okonkwo 44
- Nnachi Boniface 43
- 9. Adolphus uzoegbu 38
- Ikechukwu obi 40
- Ndubueze Ojukwu 28
- Festus Anyaegbu 39
- Enyioma Ibeabuchi 24
- Ambrose Onyemelam 23
- Chigozie Ogbu 24
- Udo Ebogu 26
- Hycient Ulu 28
- Friday Obi 39
- Onykachi okoro 23
- Iruka Ezeugo 23
- Mathew Ireoha 29
NOTE: While at Kuje cell, five were taken to unknown destination and were killed by police special squad.
March 29, 2003, Asaba
Mr. Joseph C Odikpo and the other 32 member of MASSOB from Asaba were arrested by the police while they were attending the MASSOB Nation-wide rally on March 29th 2003. They were detained at the state C.I.D Asaba for weeks before they were transferred to the police headquarters Abuja, and later arraigned at the federal high court Abuja on charges of treasonable felony, unlawful society and misdemeanor. They were brought back to Asaba police station on 2nd May 2003 and were arraigned at court 4 Asaba on the same treasonable felony charges. They regained their freedom after paying huge amount of money.
June 2003, Abuja
The police arrested ten MASSOB members, including Barry Inegbu, during a peaceful meeting of MASSOB. They were detained in Asokoro police station in Abuja. They were tortured and treated like common criminals for admitting to be Biafran freedom fighters, they were later released on bail
June 17, 2003, Onitsha
Seven MASSOB members were killed by the police in Onitsha during a police raid at MASSOB office in Fegge. The seven members are Augustine O. Obidimma, Ngagozie F. Mbamalu, Okechukwu Onyia, Samuel. A. Chukwu, Osita Okeke, Kelechi Uwajuaka and Peter Eziagu.
December 11, 2004, Okwe
Around 11 am, the MASSOB Secretariat was under siege as armed Mobile police and SSS operatives continued their raids at the MASSOB headquarters. They opened fire at a crowd of MASSOB members who attended the meeting of Administrators and Ministries scheduled for the day and shot and wounded many people. The victims were later rushed to a hospital in Owerri and on the way, 5 of the members who are Emeka Obialor, Chibuzor Eze, Andrew Anozie, Aloysius Iheme and Mr Eke Njoku (87yrs) died due to excess bleeding. The other 13 persons were seriously wounded but later recovered and are alive till date to testify to this. See Heartland time Newspaper, Monday, December 13-19-2004. On the same day, the police arrested about 38 MASSOB MEMBERS and detained them.
December 29, 2004, Njaba
A MASSOB member was apprehended by the Nigeria police and detained at Umuaka police headquarters in Njaba L.G.A,Imo State. The MASSOB member was arrested at his resident. He was tortured, maltreated in the police custody and later was bailed with Ten thousand (10,000:00) naira on 4th Jan 2005. I want to add that on 3rd. Jan. 2005, I was insulted, the police men nacked me after they have searched my house and got 2 Biafran Flags, Six (6) Biafran calenders and my properties are still held by the police.
I am calling upon the U.N. and African leaders to look for a solution to liberate Biafra from Nigeria. The humiliation and massacre on MASSOB members by Nigerian troops is one of the violations of human rights which is against the International law and African charter. We wish to draw the attention of the United Nation Human Rights Commission, Amnesty International, Human Right Watch and other Human Rights Groups over the gross abuses of Human Rights, police and military brutality going on in Nigeria, especially the brutal force used against members of self determination groups, the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra. The attacks on members of the Movement has now assumed serious dimension since the group declared that it will boycott the Nigeria 2006 census.
Before the census exercise on March, 2006 Nigeria government deployed soldiers who laid siege in all parts of Eastern Nigeria and raided several MASSOB offices, including the headquarters of the Movement at Okwe Community in Onuimo LGA, IMO state, on the 18,19,March 2006 and other MASSOB offices in Onitsha, Awka, Nnewi, Aba, Owerri, Enugu, Abakaliki, etc. During the raids about 450 MASSOB members were arrested while 22 persons were killed by the soldiers and police at various places. At MASSOB, secretariat soldiers invaded the office on 18th -20th march 2006 and shot indiscriminately at crowd of MASSOB members who gathered for their usual peaceful meeting scheduled for the day. On seeing the MASSOB members, they opened fired at the crowd and shot down 12 persons. The soldiers shot the people at their backs as they tried to escape into the bush, many MASSOB members sustained serious injuries from the gunshots. The soldiers, after shooting down the people, collected some of the corpses into their Toyota Hilux pickup and sped off. Six dead bodies were later recovered from the bushes and had been deposited in the mortuaries, while those with bullet wounds were taken to hospital for treatment. It was later revealed that soldiers invaded the hospital and arrested the wounded MASSOB members claiming that they were armed robbers who escaped from the police. We suspect that they may have been killed and buried in secret mass graves. It was also the same story in other places where MASSOB exists in Nigeria.
April 20, 2004, Port Harcourt
Report by Evang Pius A. I. Akubuike on a personal account of police brutality against MASSOB members reported above. “I was not among the people that were arrested on 20th April, 2005 but I have my own experience of police brutality. My own problem with the police started when I volunteered to sign the bail bond of Mr John Ugwu, one of our members arrested by the police. I was arrested by the prosecutor, Inspt Nwinodi, and I was detained at the Central Police Station (CPS) and the police molested me by beating and torturing me. I was in police custody for one week before I was granted bail. I was arrested for refusing to bribe them. After my release the police prosecutor arrested me again demanding N100, 000, but I was later granted bail with the sum of N10, 000.00 on 14th 10,2005.”
July 12, 2004, Aba
The police from Osisioma Police Station Aba, Abia State, arrested 8 members of MASSOB on 12th July 2003. They were detained, dehumanized and the police requested that they should bring N25, 000 each before they could be released, two among the eight person, Mr Ambrose Olebunne and Martin Ukaga, paid the amount to free themselves from police but Alex Onwuka, Kalu Amadi, Linus Eze, Tobias Iheoma, Innocent Okoro and Alice Chukwu were detained for some months before they were arraigned to court on offenses of treasonable felony. These MASSOB members were arrested while cleaning up their environment in Observance of MASSOB Sanitation day. See Freedom News publication VOL 4,No.10 2004. One begins to wonder how cleaning up one’s environment becomes a treasonable felony offence. This is the situation in Nigeria.
July 30, 2004
MASSOB declared every last day of every month to be sanitation day. It is an exercise that MASSOB members enjoy doing as part of their non-violent exercise in the struggle to actualize Biafra. MASSOBIANS always turnout in large numbers to clean their environment, they will clean the gutters, clear bushes and dirt’s near the road and after the sanitation exercise the whole environment will be clean, and the general public will praise and congratulate MASSOBIANS in their efforts. But, the Nigeria police and SSS see such noble exercise as a threat to the Government of Nigeria and called MASSOB members robbers. Between 2003-2004, scores of MASSOB members involved in MASSOB sanitation exercises were arrested either by the police, SSS or vigilante groups, detained, tortured and were either made to pay heavy amounts to regain their freedom or charged to court for conspiracy, unlawful assembly and attempting to levy war against the federal Government of Nigeria and to over throw the President. It was the same situation in Awka, Onitsha, Nnewi, Aba, Umuahia, Owerri, Okigwe, Abakaliki Enugu and Port Harcourt, etc. See attached picture of MASSOB members during the sanitation execise before they were arrested in Freedom news publication VOL4. No. 10 2004.
August 12, 2004, Port Harcourt
A team of police raided a house at No.87 Azikwe and arrested 7 MASSOB members and they were detained at Rivers State Police Command Moscow road but Mr Vincent Okoroafor, who reported the event, says he narrowly escaped arrest.
January 18, 2005, Nwangele, Imo State
Operatives of state security Services from Owerri Imo state arrested a MASSOB member, Mr Daniel Ugboaja from Amaigbo, on January 18th, 2005 following an Order to arrest all MASSOB members in the state. The Security Agents jumped the fence at Mr Ugboajas house and arrested him and took him to their office in Owerri because of his involvement with MASSOB. He was treated like a criminal and later arraigned on treasonable felony charges at Owerri Magistrate Court on 26th Jan 2006 before he was granted bail after fulfilling his bail conditions. They were charged for treasonable felony and conspiring to over throw the Government by planning war against the Government of Nigeria, and he was detained in prison for one month. He was released On March 6, 2003.
April 20, 2005, Port Harcourt
Eleven MASSOB members were arrested and detained at Olu-Obasanjo police station and later transferred to the State C.I.D. The MASSOB members were arrested at No.3 Azikiwe Street Mile 11 Diobu during MASSOB meeting. The names of the victims are Mr Jerry Nwokocha, Allwell Orjiugo, Comr. Samuel, Ike, Amason, Godwin Chief, Barnabas Amadi; Christopher Ozor, John Ugwu, Omerenini Egbulefu and the other two persons. These MASSOB members were subjected to torture and ill-treatment in police custody and they were sent to Port Harcourt prison on 26th April, 2005. Their case was adjourned to 28th April for re-appearing and hearing. The MASSOB members were arraigned at Magistrate court 7, Rivers State and the presiding Magistrate is Mr. Omereji. They were charged with treasonable felony and were later granted bail after given a huge sum of money to the court officials. The MASSOB members in Port Harcourt contributed over N200, 000.00 that was used to affect the release of these Non-violent MASSOB members. The defense Counsel for MASSOB was Hon. Jerry Nwokocha. According to Mr. Jerry Nwokocha, “We have been going to court every month and they keep on adjourning the case without ruling till date.”
July 30, 2005, Port Harcourt
Men of the Nigeria Police from Mile I Diobu Divisional Police Station arrested five MASSOB members at No.4 Amaigbo road. The MASSOB members are Mr. Collins Nwani, Boniface Ikediobi, Kinsley Iroanya, David Nwagbo and Pius Akpan. According to Mr Collins Nwani, “We were detained at the Mile I Police station and we were interrogated and severely beaten and tortured by an Hausa-Fulani Police officer named (Sgt) Garba. He harassed us with statements like ‘Look I want to warn you, if you want to talk about Biafra you better go to Igboland and do that, you cannot do it here or we deal decisively with you.'” We were tortured and starved for four days before we were transferred to state C.I.D because we refused to give the mile 1 policemen the sum of N200,00 for each one of us which they demanded before they could release us. At the Port Harcourt State C.I.D we were tortured and asked to mention those who finance MASSOB activities, we were beaten mercilessly and they used iron to hit our legs when we refused to mention any names. We told the policemen that MASSOB has enough money to finance its projects, they insisted that we should call peoples name. We were abused and dehumanized because we admitted being Biafran freedom fighters. While in detention the C.I.D men went to our private homes and searched our houses to see if they could find any incriminating evidence to enable them prosecute us, but were disappointed, as they did not find any exhibit in our homes. After two weeks in detention at state C.I.D cell, one Hausa-Fulani Police Joseph Ahmed claimed he is in charge of Human Rights police office and he called us to his office and he tried to persuade us to pay N50,000.00 each, that is N250,000 or we remain in the police cell. Four days later, we were charged to court following the pressures from MASSOB members in Port Harcourt who filled motion on our behalf. The MASSOB defense counsel was Hon Jerry Nwokocha. We were charged with treasonable felony. After the fist appearance at the court, we were granted bail and released on 29th August 2005 and MASSOB members contributed over N150, 000 that was used for securing our release. Since then we have been attending for the case without ruling on the matter, we are appealing to the international community to intervene over the abuse of our rights by the Nigerian Government. The Government should be made to respect the rights of MASSOB members. It is also important to add that during this period of battle in police custody, our wives and children suffered untold hardship, hunger, sickness, but God saved us from the wicked hand of Nigeria Government. This is the pathetic report from Mr. Collins Nwani, MASSOB member in Port Harcourt.
August 11, 2005, Onitsha
Comr. Emma Ihejionueme (alias powerful) was arrested by the police on the 11th August 2005 in Onitsha over Biafran pounds. He was detained for one month without trail in the police station in Awka, but was granted bail with the sum of N118,000. Other members of his Area who were arrested at various times are Mr. Ifeanyi Nnadi who was arrested in June4th 2001, and Mr. Livinus Aniekwe who was arrested on 30th march 2003. Three other MASSOB members from Idemili South were arrested on same 30th March 2005 and spent 9months in prison for admitting to be MASSOB members, but were granted bail by the High Court Awka, Anambara State.
Maazi Mmoloze Onwusilike from Awo Oraifite in Ekwugosi L G A was shot dead by soldiers while returning home from farm. He was killed in the front of his house because his son Azuka belongs to MASSOB. His corpse was kept at Uzondu hospital Oraifite and was buried at his village on 13th March 2006.
September 7, 2005, Asaba
Mr.Emeka Eze and 9 other MASSOB Members were arrested by the police while they protested against the Army/SSS invasion of Chief Ralph Uwazuruik’s home. During the protest in Asaba, they carried placards with inscription, ‘We want Biafra, Release all MASSOBIANS DETAINED IN POLICE CELLS,’ etc. The ten members were detained and tortured for organizing a Biafran protest. They were charged for treasonable felony, unlawful assemble, seditions, etc and later arraigned at court 1 Asaba.
September 29, 2005, Asaba
Mr.Joseph.C. Odikpo and 5 other MASSOB members were arrested by the operative of state security service (SSS), Delta state.
September 29, 2005, Asaba
According to Mr. Joseph Odikpo, “the SSS men forced me to take them to my home, held me at gunpoint on 29th September 2005 and they searched and ransacked my house. They removed some important documents like Biafran tax receipts, MASSOB forms, my MASSOB I.D. card and my handsets. Later I was charged to court 1 Asaba without allowing me to have contact with my lawyer, family members and my friends. I was granted bail but because there is no one to sign the bail, I was taken to Agbor Prison, where I nearly lost my life due to epidemics in the prison. I was affected with cholera and dysentery, it is only God who saved me. They kept on adjourning the case until I spent nearly nine months in prison without trial. The MASSOB defense counsel in this case was Barr. W.O. Ezenwa.”
November 7, 2005, Obigbo, Rivers State
Four MASSOB members, Hon Gerald Ntiwunka, Hon Kelvin Nwachukwu, Hon Robinson, Hon Chukwu, were arrested at Obigbo town Rivers State by men of the Nigerian police On November 7th 2005 during a MASSOB protest against the arrest of Chief Ralph Uwazuruike. The MASSOB members were demonstrating before they were rounded by a team of police men who acted on a tip off. They were first detained and tortured at Obigbo Central Police Station before they were transferred to State C.I.D Port Harcourt. After two court adjournments, they were remanded at the over crowded and dreaded Port Harcourt prison custody where they are being tortured until date. MASSOB members are dying, yet the world sees nothing, says nothing and does nothing.
MASSOB members have experienced incidents of police and army brutality on several occasions. This is a clear case of injustice and discrimination against people of Eastern Nigeria. MASSOB members are worried over the continue killing of its members and the delay by the International Body to intervene and declare Eastern Nigerian an independent state (Biafra). MASSOB is a non-violent civil right Movement and has never encouraged its members to carry weapons or to carry out violent activities. It has pursued its agendas through Ghandian philosophy of non-violence. It boggles the mind why President Obasanjo will authorize the security Agents to arrest, jail, persecute, torture and kill these Non-violent members of MASSOB.
March 20, 2006
Before the census exercise, the federal government deployed troops to Eastern Nigeria and there were usual movement of troops and military equipments. In Onitsha, two armored tanks were stationed at strategic locations in the city and presently soldiers and military intelligence officers have been deployed and camped at Okwe Community to disrupt MASSOB Meetings. Since the end of the census exercise, which ended on march 27,2006, the Government accuses MASSOB members of disrupting the exercise. The census exercise started with protests by census enumerators complaining of falsifications, shortage of materials, fraud, manipulation and inflation of census figure which ended in bloodsheds. However, members of MASSOB have no hand in the crises that marred the census exercise but security agents and the Government accused MASSOB for disrupting the exercise. The government issued an order to arrest all MASSOB members and key officers. During the census exercise the police arrested many MASSOB members and killed 62 of them at various locations. Presently, soldiers and SSS have started hunting for MASSOB members in towns, communities and villages in Eastern Nigeria. Some members now hiding in undisclosed refugee camps for fear of arrest. Those arrested during and after the census exercise are transferred to Abuja for questioning, detention and arraignment in court. Most of the arrested members were either at their business, offices or working place or relaxing in their homes before then. Police arrested and transferred them to Abuja on charges of treasonable felony, attempt to disrupt census exercise and collaboration with some foreign countries to break-up Nigeria. There was a case, where the police arrested some MASSOB members at Obodoukwu street Onitsha, and their only crimes is that they were listening to broad cast from Radio Biafra Washington on Saturday 25th March 2006. They were tortured, interrogated and detained in SSS cell Abuja. They were accused of being part of an illegal Radio Station, called Radio Biafra, and planning with their collaborators to break-up Nigeria.
The latest orgy of police, SSS, Army brutality against MASSOB members is on a massive scale. Since the Prediction by the Director of U.S. Intelligence Council Negro John Ponte, MASSOB members have found no peace in Nigeria. It is believed in the Nigeria Security circle that MASSOB is Collaborating with some International organizations to break-up Nigeria and the only way to avert It is to use brute force to clampdown on the Movement and this has resulted in extra-judicial killing, Kidnapping, and abuse of human rights. We appeal to United Nation to warn Obasanjo to restrain the soldiers from attacking MASSOB members.
There have been genocide and gross human rights abuses committed against Biafran people in the past 40years. The MASSOB members detained in various police cells are starved, tortured and during interrogation they are forced to expose their level of involvement and mention the names of countries that assist MASSOB financially, to reveal those behind Radio Biafra, they were tortured to reveal the names and address of other MASSOB members and key officers. It is also necessary to reveal that most MASSOB members in police/SSS detention cells are subjected to severe torture such as finger and toe amputation, the use of sticks to prick the genital and the use of electric shocks on their bodies, most of them collapse and even die during torture, they are tortured with hatred. We therefore expect that these gross abuses of human rights in Nigeria, especially against MASSOB members, should attract the criticism of International Human Right organizations.
The Hausa/Fulanis still nurse the bitter experience of the evil war in 1967- 1970, also the Biafrans find it extremely difficult to forget the experiences of the civil war. The recent clampdown on MASSOB members re-evokes the dreadful memories of the 1969 pogrom on Igbos. The life of MASSOB members are no longer safe in the hands of Nigeria security Agents. They treat MASSOB members like chicken, they carry out attacks on MASSOB members mindlessly and boldly in most horrifying and inhuman manner.
The present administration in Nigeria has committed horrendous crimes against MASSOB members. There have been crimes like illegal detention, mass murder, arson, extra- judicial killing, looting, pillage, abduction, rape, sexual abuses, assault on women, kidnaps and blackmail. There has been a lack of respect to human lives in Nigeria, the government supports police brutality and other barbaric acts against MASSOB members. Shoot-at-sight has been declared against MASSOB members by the Nigeria security Agents. MASSOB members die violently in cold blood in the hands of police and soldiers. The cold war between Nigeria Government and MASSOB members is degenerating to genocide. We therefore call on the United Nations Human Rights Commission to prevail and stop further acts of brutality on MASSOB members.
March 16, 2006, Ngor-Okpala, Imo Sate
Recently the harassment and murder of MASSOB members had reached a boiling point as evidence to these reports could be proved. The spate of unlawful arrest, detention, extra-judicial killing and abuse of the right of MASSOB members has continued unabated. One of such crazy humiliations of MASSOB members took place on 16th March 2006 at Ngor-Okpala, Imo Sate. The Nigeria Police Swooped at the home of Mr Amobi Oguike looking for him to arrest, following the tip off that he is a MASSOB member, but he escaped narrowly on the 7th March 2006. They returned back to arrest him and when they could not see him, they decided to raid his house and looted his properties and sped off. Among the items they took away includes 20 inches Television VCD, Video Machine, Generator, compact disk stereo, standing fan, big sized thermocool refrigerator, stabilizers, baby bed, video camera, 2 hand set flip-up Nokia, boxes of clothes and jewelries, 10 inches vita foam, 125 Honda Motorcycle, #85,00 2,600 notes of Biafran currency gold medal, some I D cards and particulars and family photographs. Many MASSOB members are presently languishing in prison custody under severe torture without trial and in most incidents the security agents who do not have regards for human lives are happy to kill the MASSOB members and each time they swoop on them and took away the life of these peaceful Igbo youths.
Many members of the Non- violent movement who attend the gathering of the group would either come back with broken limbs, hands or legs, if not their family back home are given the sad news about the lost of their beloved relation. Most of the time the Nigerian police, SSS and army arrested MASSOB members simply for hoisting Biafran flags, possessing Biafran currency, wearing T shirts with Biafra inscriptions and for a unlawful assembly in the privacy of their rooms, possessing MASSOB I D card documents. Nigerian security agents disappear these innocent people without any trace again. These practice are reminiscent of the genocide in Rwanda and apartheid in South Africa. Such is now in use against the people of Eastern Nigeria.
March 14, 2006, Ihiala
Eleven MASSOB members and some Biafran veteran soldiers who attended the burial of Prof .F. Awa Madu (chairman Biafran Veteran) in Ihiala on 14th March 2006 were manhandled by armed policemen from Ihiala Divisional police Headquarters. The policemen stormed Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital premises. When they got information that MASSOB members had gone to the mortuary to carry the corpse of Prof.F. Awa Madu for an onward convoy to his house for interment or burial, the police barricaded the hospital gate and started shooting indiscriminately and throwing teargas canisters, beating the MASSOB members, tearing the uniform of the Biafran Veterans to Pieces without considering their old age nor having any regard for their mourning mood.
- Messers’ Lazbrey Ozodinihu
- Fred Okwuosah
- Alphousus Ezeudo
- Cyprian Chukwurah
- Ndubisi Ndem
- Uchenna Anyadiugwu
- Azuka Okoli
- Ekele Alinno
- Okoroeze Christopher
- Elder Oforegbu
- Miss Tina Onuchukwu
- Innocent Alagboso
They were detained at the Awka state C.I.D. The policemen Seized 2 L-300 Mitsubishis with registration number XA223 BKL and also seized ten motorcycles belonging to the MASSOB members and the Veterans.
Mr. Ikueze (Ebekuo Dike) sustained serious injuries following the police gun nozzle which the police death all over his body; he bled profusely in the hospital. Some of the victims were admitted in hospital, such as Mr. Cora Igbomara and others. Their health condition in the hospital worsened as a result of the teargas canister, which the police threw in the hospital. The police later stormed the Late Prof. Awa Madu Premises and disrupted the burial ceremony and prevented MASSOB members from giving their last respect to the late Biafran Hero, Prof. Awa. They disorganized all the people that attended the burial including the villagers and well- wishers. People who witnessed this Police brutality and assault are the entire Ihiala people, and other MASSOB members. Mr. Augustine Uzoma (MPO- MPO) lost all his highly valued goods such as printed materials, stickers, documents, newspapers and calendars, which he uses for mobilizations and sensitization. Other MASSOB members who experienced the humiliation are comr. Isaac Israel, Godwin Ohaebosim (ACPA Ihiala), Mr. Ignatus Enyi (Enyi Biafra) etc.
March 16, 2006, Ngor-Okpala
Men of the Nigerian police invaded the home of a MASSOB member, Mr Amobi Ogubuike, and when they could not arrest him they broke his apartment and looted his valuable properties, which includes a 20Inches color TV, VCD, video cable machine, generator, stereo, standing fan, furniture, refrigerator, 2 Nokia handsets, 10Inches Vita foam, 125 Honda motorcycle, boxes of clothes and jewelries belonging to the wife. They also destroyed his wardrobe and stole N85,000, and N2,600 (Biafran pounds), ID cards and documents, family photographs, house spare key and also took away broken plates. This tragic event has caused emotional and psychological effects to the pregnant wife who is now hospitalized and presently, Mr Amobi is being hunted by the police as the wife lies critically in the hospital. This is the fate of many MASSOB members who are now hiding else where while some are camped at the MASSOB secretariat without food and presently suffer object penury.
The Nigeria Government and its security Agent now link every event of violent, killing and ugly events to MASSOB members in order to produce evidence to prosecute MASSOB members and leaders in the Law court. All these are efforts calculated to rubbish MASSOB image of Non-violence just to give a dog a bad name to hang it. MASSOB is now worried about the manhunt for members and the use of SSS, police and army brutality to intimidate the organization.
Presently any politician or security man who wants promotion or favor from Government has to sabotage MASSOB and rush to the media and announce it. MASSOB members are now an endangered species in Nigeria. It was as if promotions in the police and Army are now based on efforts made to crush the Movement by eliminating any one suspected to be a MASSOB member or supporter, even those who wore T-shirts with Biafran inscription on it are shot dead or arrested and charged to court on treason offences. During the census exercise a team of police, SSS and soldiers were deployed in state in south -east and well equipped with sophisticated weapons to shot or arrest MASSOB members to prevent them from disrupting the census exercise.
The war for killing of MASSOB members and innocent Igbo’s took a different dimension as soldiers stormed MASSOB Secretariat with AK-47s, chain bullet machine guns and other automatic riffles and opened fire at the crowd of MASSOB members who gathered at the secretariat at Okwe during their peaceful meeting. They shot at all direction and killing many MASSOB members, and others were seriously wounded by the sporadic gun shots, while 20 persons were arrested and whisked away to 32 field Artillery brigade Obinze, near owerri.
In Onitsha, Anambra State, over 17 MASSOB members and innocent Igbo youth were killed by Nigeria soldiers and mobile police during the census exercise and more than 100 in Onitsha. In Aba, Abia State, some local Government chairmen used a joint team of police and vigilante groups to hunt MASSOB members and the report from a credible MASSOB source has it that 96 MASSOB members were missing in Aba. Some local Government busses and traditional rulers were accused of having knowledge of the where about of these members of MASSOB. It was a similar case in others states, such as in Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo and South South States. The majority of Igbos resisted to be counted by the census enumerators, they insisted that they are Biafrans and will not partake in Nigeria census exercise. But this resistance did not go down well with the Nigerian Government who deployed Security Agents to arrest those who refused to be counted by the enumerators, most of the people were arrested and were detained in police custody even until now. In Awka, 29 MASSOB members were arrested during the census exercise and are still detained and tortured by mindless security officers.
In Owerri, 18 members were arrested at different locations. The police invaded the homes of MASSOB members elsewhere in Ideato, following a tip off and at the time of filling this report MASSOB has spent huge amount in securing the release of their members from the hand of the dreaded Nigeria Security Agents while many more were still detained, tortured interrogated and were demanded to pay huge amounts for bail. For instance, in Awka, about 23 MASSOB members were detained at Awka Central Police station and other notorious police camps such as (SARS) and they demanded N250,000 for each person before they will be released. Failure to comply before the expiration will mean death of the member, this is the threat from the divisional police officer of SARS in Awka.
The idea behind such a threat was to extort money and to intimidate the members of the movement. In the light of this brutality and gross abuses of the rights of MASSOB members, The People Against Rights Abuses Nigeria (PARAN) wishes to call on the United Nation Human Rights Commission to condemn the gross violation of the Human and people rights in Nigeria, especially the abuses on members of MASSOB. MASSOB members are human beings created by God. MASSOB is well known to currently pursue only the philosophy, plans and programs of non-violence and civil disobedience against the current Nigeria leadership. Also, while MASSOB is known as a self determination organization that pursues global programmes to actualize the sovereign state of Biafra, though without arms and ammunition, it does not abduct, hold people hostage or cause panic as a bargaining chip, and is not any way contemplating this in future.
MASSOB is only involved in mass mobilization of Biafran people for the struggle to actualize Biafra through sensitization programs, campaigns seminars, non-violent protests and issuing directives to boycott some Government programs in Nigeria. MASSOB has vehemently and consistently involved in sensitization of the International Community and International Human Rights Group for them to sympathize with the oppressed Biafran people and lend their support for the resolution of the Biafran agitation. We will therefore not relent in calling the United Nation for a resolution on Biafra.
We strongly believe that the UN Secretary General, Dr Kofi Annan, and the U.S President, George W. Bush, are favorably disposed to take decisions on the agitation for Independent State of Biafra. MASSOB wants a peaceful separation with Nigeria without course to war as was the case in 1967. We will continue to take all the necessary steps of non-violence to intensify our programs and muster increasing international support for the actualization of an Independent State of Biafra. We will continue to appreciate all the supports by our sympathizers and friends all over the world . We thank every groups and individuals who support the agitation for Biafra Actualization.
In the month of May 2006, Igbos especially those suspected to be MASSOB members in Onitsha, were arrested indiscriminately by combined mobile police team and vigilante groups in Anambra state. They arrested MASSOB members who were charged to court, killed and thrown into the River Niger while scores of others were detained without charges. MASSOB is aware of the involvement of some prominent politicians in Anambra State who sponsored vigilante groups and the security agents in killing and arresting MASSOB members in Onitsha, Awka and Nnewi. These anti-MASSOB Government agents hold high political offices in the country, but are working hard to sabotage the activities of MASSOB for their selfish political reasons. The politicians vowed to blackmail MASSOB. The present attack against MASSOB in Anambra State is politically motivated. MASSOB has a mission to free the Igbo race from the unjust system which Nigeria represents. The Nigerian government is not being fair, equitable, just and transparent in policies. Those who are anti-MASSOB are those who needed contracts and appointments from the Nigerian Government and do not care for the masses. The scores of killings against MASSOB in Anambra State is politically motivated. The Nigerian police and Government sponsored vigilante groups have used excessive force and have killed members of MASSOB. MASSOB members have been victims of the following human right abuses, subjection to beating in prison and police custody, arbitrary arrest and prolonged pre-trial detention, hostage taking infringement of privacy rights, politically motivated and extra-judicial killing by security agents, use of excessive force, subjection to harsh and life threatening prison conditions, restrictions on freedom of speech, press, assembly, subjection to vigilante violence and genocide. These abuses are officially carried out and this is why the police were not held accountable or prosecuted.
Also from Onitsha, there are cases of disappearances of MASSOB Members since May 2006 till date. For example, the Police had not responded to a court order to release 6 MASSOB Members arrested in Onitsha in May 2006 during a house-to-house search of MASSOB Members in Okpoko areas of Onitsha. When police and vigilante groups raided the area, it was not known whether the MASSOB members were still alive and there are no updates on their cases.
A notorious vigilante group and motor park touts known as (NARTO), Neighborhood Watch Vigilante group, sponsored by Chief Chris Uba (Esere), took hostage of MASSOB members and tortured them with machetes and dangerous weapons. Mr. Eugene Ibe received 100 lashes when the vigilante group held him in his house around Fegge in Onitsha.
Chief Vinatuis Mmoneke, MASSOB Chieftain in Onitsha, narrowly escaped death on May 13th 2006 when a team of armed MOPOL Police stormed his residence in Onitsha. The police team unleashed war on his properties destroying doors, windows and valuable goods. They looted his properties worth several millions of Naira and removed vital documents from his house. Chief Mmoneke, at the time of filing this report, is still in hiding and the search to get him alive or dead had continued. It was alleged that the plan was to kidnap and kill him. The law of the country prohibits such actions, but securities agents often continue to violate these rights. Police/SSS and solders routinely raided homes of MASSOB members without warrants. The security agents continued to raid, demolish homes and business centers belonging to MASSOB members in Onitsha,Nnewi, Obosi, Iyiowa, Orba, Njikoka, Ekwulobia and, Aba, Abia State. Police and SSS had continued to hunt for MASSOB key officers, arresting and detaining relatives and friends of wanted MASSOB officers in detention without any criminal charge against them.
The Government is not harassing members of Odua Peoples Congress (OPC) the way it harasses members of MASSOB. While MASSOB members have been killed, arrested or maimed by the police in the course of the non- violence campaign to actualize Biafra, members of OPC and other militant group like Hishba in Kano State, Nigeria who are suspected of intimidation and carrying out violent activities and killing of innocent people are left unharassed and free to do as they like. The police do not see their activities as threatening the peace of the country. OPC in the West and Hishba in the North are allowed to spill blood with impunity, causing terror, fear and deaths. MASSOB Members who are not violent are usually hunted, killed or imprisoned without an option of bail.
The unprovoked and organized killing against MASSOB Members in Nigeria had continued unabated. MASSOB will continue to remain resolute in the struggle and no amount of intimidation or organized killing of our members can change our resolve. It was through a struggle like ours that Nigeria, Ghana, India, South Africa, Erieria, East Timor, etc gained their Independence. Ours will not be an exception. MASSOB will not relent in establishing the necessary structures that will sustain the sovereignty of the New Biafra State, known as, United States of Biafra.
More so, there was no time in our history when our various ethnic groups discussed the formation of any Republic called Nigeria, this fact makes Nigeria an illegal republic and we call on the United Nation to dissolve it. United State of Biafra is even more legal arrangements following the signing of memorandum with the Great Common-Wealth of Niger Delta (GCND). We therefore call on the Federal Government of Nigeria to release Chief Ralph Uwazuruike and Alhaji Asari Dokubo unconditionally, and if the treason charges against them were not withdrawn we will continue to approach the International Community and sensitize the International Human Right organizations.
Clashes between the police, vigilante group and MASSOB had resulted in bloody casualties on the part of MASSOB. In most cases the police and the media tried to downplay the number of people killed during the clashes. MASSOB had always avoided confrontations with the police following their strict stand on the non-violent method of the struggle. Most police brutal attacks on MASSOB are unprovoked. Most people who were arrested or killed by the police did not foresee or plan for an encounter with the police, but police always struck violently on MASSOB members, accusing them of threatening the unity of Nigeria. Most times the Police frame them as armed robbers to find excuse for their violent actions. But in frankness, the activities of MASSOB posed no threat to the unity of Nigeria, rather it is Nigeria Government that is threatening it’s own existence as a corporate body by dishing out evil policies to some sections of the country, by marginalizing and implementing evil policies and treating some citizens as slaves, second class and the others as princes. It is therefore unbelievable that some Igbo politicians who still nurse the unrealizable ambition of becoming future President of Nigeria while sacrificing the lives of MASSOB members for their selfish ambitions.
May 6, 2006, Abuha
The Nigeria security Agent on Friday May 6th 2006 dragged Chief Ralph Uwazurike, the MASSOB leader, to the premises of the Federal High court sitting in Abuja without his clothes on. Chief Ralph Uwazurike, who is presently detained at Keffi prison in Nassarawa State with the other eight MASSOB Members, is standing trial before Justice Binta Murtala Nyako over alleged treasonable felony. Hundred of relatives and friends of the detained MASSOB members had thronged the court premises to cheer up Chief Ralph Uwazuruike but they were disappointed, as he was not even allowed to disembark from the prison vehicle that brought them. Having waited for the prison warden to produce the accused to the court in vein, Justice Binta Nyako adjourned the matter to next week Monday. Chief Ralph Uwazuruike was brought to court premises naked around 10am by security agents and prison officials who arrived the court premises in two security vehicles. Barr. Emeka Okoro saw Chief Uwazuruike naked inside the security vehicle raised alarm. Barr. Okoro informed the press that Uwazuruike was in the court premises without his clothes on his body. The security Agents deliberately came to court late so that the matter will be adjourned. Can you imagine Chief Uwazuruike was beaten, his clothes thorn in pieces, after humiliating him they brought him to court naked? They ensured they delayed his appearance to the court by satisfying themselves in beating tearing his clothes, humiliation and bringing him late to court after the court might have adjourned the case. What offence did the accused commit to warrant all these humiliations?
Agents of the Nigerian Government in Anambara state have made frantic efforts to destabilize MASSOB in Anambra State. The Nigeria Security Agents, National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) thugs and sponsored vigilante groups have been mobilized to attack MASSOB members in the State. Since after the National census in 2006, there have been series of senseless killings of MASSOB members by Police, Narto and viglante groups in Onitsha, Nnewi and Awka. Offices and camps of MASSOB in the State have been routinely raided in Ogbaru, Nkpikpa, and Silas Works Street in Onitsha South in Anambra state and properties belonging to MASSOB were burnt during the clashes
April 27 2006, Onitsha
The Nigeria police opened fired on a building suspected to belong to MASSOB members at about 9am on 27th April 2006 and they shot sporadically at innocent MASSOB members without any provocation whatsoever, and later burnt their homes. On the same day, a notorious vigilante group sponsored by a rich politician, Chris Uba, in Onitsha, stormed the office of MASSOB and killed five MASSOB members, most of them are still in mortuary, three of them were burnt alive and sixteen were seriously injured and are still receiving treatments in an undisclosed hospital. Agents of the Nigerian government in Anambra State have made frantic efforts to destabilize MASSOB in Anambra State.