The police in Ebonyi State assisted by other security agencies on Tuesday forcefully disrupted a protest by the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State Of Biafra (MASSOB) in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital.
The separatists were on a peaceful march round major streets of the city when they were teargased and some arrested.
The group had earlier announced the protest through the media and social media channels in the country. It said the march is to commemorate the declaration of Biafran Republic by its leader, Ralph Uwazuruike.
But, security agencies in the state accosted them along Nkaliki road as they started the march, sprayed teargas and arrested some of them, it was gathered.
The police were joined in the operation by the army and the State Security Service, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.
The Commander of Nigerian Millitary Cantonment in Nkwegu, S. O. Sadiq, confirmed the participation of the army in the incident and arrests. He said the arrested persons were handed over to the police.
He stressed that MASSOB did not notify security agencies in the state of the event in writing which necessitated the action to stop the march.
The police spokesperson in the state, Loveth Odah, confirmed the incident to our reporter but could not give the actual number of persons arrested.
“I don’t have the details of the actual number of persons arrested right now,” she said. “When I get the full details I will let you know.”
MASSOB is pushing for an independent Igbo country of Biafra. It is, however, separate from IPOB, another pro-Biafra group that has been dubbed a terrorist organisation by the Nigerian government.