Thursday, 21 August 2014

Four MASSOB Members Feared Dead As Commanders Battle Uwazuruike

Four people were feared dead yesterday and scores injured when the commanders of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) ‘toppled’ the embattled leader of the group, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike and took over the national headquarters of the movement at Okwe in Onuimo Local Government Area of Imo State.

A source said the fight started on the premises, which served as the administrative headquarters of MASSOB about 7:30am when over 5,000 suspected thugs invaded the place to dislodge the commanders, who had taken over on the alleged order of the MASSOB leader.
Speaking with The Nation, MASSOB’S National Secretary, Comrade Ugwuoke Ibem Ugwuoke, confirmed that they were attacked by thugs allegedly recruited by Uwazuruike, who stormed the headquarters with sophisticated weapons, but were resisted by MASSOB commanders, who took over the secretariat.

He said: “Many people were injured in the early morning attack. Those people were not MASSOB members, they were hired by Uwazuruike from Onitsha to kill us because we challenged his style of leadership. We overpowered them and have taken over the MASSOB headquarters. Uwazuruike has turned the struggle to a personal property.

“Our crime is that we told him to reduce the dues collected from poor members, who toil monthly to pay money into his account. Over N20 million is remitted into his account monthly, while those who died in the struggle are abandoned in the mortuaries.
“What we are saying is that we can no longer be used by Uwazuruike to enrich himself. While we are dying, he is buying houses and posh cars. We cannot continue like this. We urge Igbo leaders to intervene because Uwazuruike has used the blood of innocent Igbo youths killed daily while obeying his orders to make money.”

The Leader of the Biafra Defence Mission, Comrade Ndubuisi Igwekani, said: “If actions are not taken to call Uwazuruike to order, the security situation in Igboland will be affected.
“We have advised Igbo leaders, especially Ohaneze Ndigbo, to call Uwazuruike to order because his kind of Biafra was not the one the late Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu fought for. He has abandoned the
struggle. He uses MASSOB to extort Ndigbo. We are out to stop him, no matter what he does.”
Uwazuruike said he was not aware of the incident. Said he: “I got information that there was a crisis at Okwe a few minutes ago. I will contact my administrators to know what happened.

There was no problem, except that some of the security men at the headquarters were transferred. But they are yet to relocate. This may have been misconstrued as disobedience to my instructions.”

Source:
The Nation