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In Ebonyi Police invade venue of Biafra Day service, arrest pastors, 320 MASSOB members

Report said the policemen also teargassed the protesters ceaselessly during the operation.

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The Police in Ebonyi State on Monday, May 30, arrested some pastors who were allegedly conducting an inter-denominational service for members of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB).

Premium Times reports that about 200 police officers invaded the Nkaliki Primary School, field, Abakaliki, venue for the 2016 Biafran day celebration of the group, midway into the service and arrested the clergymen as well as other members.

The development was confirmed by the Zonal Leader of MASSOB in charge of Ebonyi North, John Nwifuru, flanked by a member of the Elders-In-Council in charge of Ebonyi anniversary, Moses Eze, during a press briefing in Abakaliki.

“over 320 members of the MASSOB were also arrested by the Command during the Biafra Day celebration,” Nwifuru said.

“Some of those arrested were just clergymen who we invited to conduct inter-denominational church service as part of activities marking the celebration. These policemen don’t seem to have respect for God, why would they arrest his anointed men?”

Report said the policemen also teargassed the protesters ceaselessly during the operation.

The Zonal Leader accused the Police of carting away valuables belonging to members of the movement which he said included vehicles, over 93 motorcycles and other items for offertory.

He said: “We were at Nkaliki primary school field observing interdenominational church service when policemen numbering over 200 operating in over 40 hilux vans stormed the area shooting sporadically in the air before they threw tear gas canister on us before arresting our clergymen who were conducting church service. They carried plantains, bananas, and other consumables which members brought as their offering during the church service.”

Nwifuru demanded the unconditional release of their arrested members and the clergymen in the state and other parts of the country peaceful celebration which he said was in commemoration of the declaration of the state of Biafra by late warlord, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, over 49 years ago.

READ: 7 killed as MASSOB protesters attack policemen in Asaba

When contacted, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Peace Ibekwe Abdallah, said she would brief the media on the matter at the right time.


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