Uwazuruike demands detained A’Ibom MASSOB members’ release
By Phil Okose Onitsha
Leader of Movement for Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, Tuesday in Owerri, Imo state capital, demanded for the immediate
release of his six members allegedly currently being incarcerated at Uyo police cell, Akwa Ibom state.
Uwazuruike insisted that they should either be released or arraigned in court, hinting that they were mistakenly arrested as members of Eastern Security Network, ESN.
He disclosed that the detainees included a couple, Mr. Ekaidem Effiong Akpan and his wife, Mrs Akpan Blessing Effiong, who were mistakenly arrested on May 13, 2021 and taken into custody by security operatives who were drafted from Akwa Ibom state police command, Uyo, for allegedly belonging to indigenous people of Biafra, IPOB’s militia, ESN.
He revealed further that, while Mr. Effiong and his wife, were detained at Ikot Akpanabia divisional headquarters, others that included, Mr. Michael Gabriel, Edet O. Edet, Kanunta Ukpai and Archibong Jude were currently being held at Iket Akpa-Abia police station.
According to Mrs. Effiong, who said she was just released from detention said, “we were framed up as ESN members.”
“I was released after spending weeks in Ikot Akpanabia Akwa-Ibom divisional headquarters, Uyo, to go home and take care of our little children while my husband stayed behind in police cell.”
“My husband and I belonged to Uwazuruike’s BIM-MASSOB and believe in non-violent agitation for our oppressed people of Biafra” Mrs Akpan Blessing stated.
Uwazuruike who warned the police in the area against criminalisation of Biafra’s self-determination process, regretted that despite the fact that his members in Uyo had established enough factual evidence confirming Ekaidem Effiong Akpan and others as innocent members of a peaceful organisation, the command had not let them go instead kept them incommunicado inside cell without charging them to court.
In a statement, issued and endorsed by the personal assistant on media matters to Chief Uwazuruike, Elder Chris Mocha, the group called on the Akwa-Ibom state commissioner of police (CP), Mr. Amiengheme Andrew, to act on the release of Mr. Ekaidem Effiong Akpan and others, stating that they were working for self-determination for the oppressed, persecuted and marginalised people of Biafra.
“We have been using a non-violent UN-endorsed approach in the struggle to actualise a Biafran state.