Pandemonium ensued on Sunday evening at Anaku community, Ayamelum LGA, Anambra State, as a combined team of policemen and AVS, Anaku unit, numbering about 30, allegedly raided the Movement for Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and BIM secretariat in the area.
The police team reportedly also shot two members, Mr. Jude Osiagugo and John Udekwe, and carted away the group’s valuable items and cash.
Leader of MASSOB, Anambra North zone, Mr. Damian Nzekwe, speaking to newsmen in Onitsha yesterday, said the policemen came in a convoy of about four Hilux trucks and stormed their meeting venue, shot directly at the members and threw tear gas canisters in their bid to disperse the crowded secretariat that was filled to capacity.
According to Mr. Nzekwe, the team was led by the DPO of Ayamelum, Supol Okwor, and chairman AVS, Mr. Mmaduechi Oranyelu.
Nzekwe said many members lost their handsets to the police while scampering for safety as well as others items.
“They also collected the sum of N700,000 being the amount realised from contributions and levy from the seven regional administrators in Anambra North for the ongoing building work there.”
Leader of Biafra Independence Movement and founder of MASSOB, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, has condemned the attack saying that despite the non-violent method of its agitation that police could still visit the group with brute force.
When contacted, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Ayamelum, Supol Okwor, said the police only performed their constitutional duty but denied touching or collecting any money from the scene.
When asked if anybody was shot or injured, he said the PPRO should be in a better position to clarify.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Nkiru Nwode, queried the reporter for believing what she said the MASSOB claimed.
She said that as far as the Force was concerned, MASSOB and its affiliated groups remain proscribed organisations.
Meanwhile, the apex Igbo cultural organisation, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, has demanded for a full-scale investigation into the alleged raid and shooting of two members of MASSOB, at their Anambra State Secretariat on Sunday.
President-general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, made this demand last night while reacting to the incident.
Nwodo, who spoke to Daily Sun on phone Monday night, said the Nigeria Police must thoroughly investigate the alleged shooting of MASSOB members and those involved brought to justice.
“I don’t know why police should be raiding MASSOB office in Anambra, which resulted in the alleged shooting of members.
“I don’t see why they should invade people who are law-abiding in their homes and kill them and refuse to answer or explain what happened.” (Daily Sun)