Anti Uwazuruike Commanders takeover MASSOB Headquarters
No fewer than four people were this morning feared dead and scores wounded as the Commanders of the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) toppled the embattled leader of the group, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike and took over the National Headquarters of the Movement in Okwe, Onuimo Local Government of Imo State.
According to eyewitness account, heavy fighting started at the high walled premises that served as the administrative headquarters of MASSOB as early as 7.30 am when armed thugs numbering over 5000 invaded MASSOB Headquarters to dislodge the Commanders who had earlier taken over the premises on the alleged orders of the MASSOB leader.
Speaking with newsmen on phone, the National Secretary of the Movement, Comrade Ugwuoke Ibem Ugwuoke, confirmed that they attacked by thugs allegedly recruited by the erstwhile leader, Uwazuruike, who stormed the Headquarters with sophisticated weapons but were resisted by MASSOB Commanders who had already taken over the Secretariat.
Ugwuoke disclosed that, “so many people have been wounded in the early morning attack and those people were not members of MASSOB but were hired by Uwazuruike from Onitsha to come and assassinate us because we challenged his style of leadership but we overpowered them and we have taken over the Headquarters of MASSOB. Uwazuruike has turned the struggle as a personal property”.
He noted further that, “our crime is that we told him to reduce the dues collected from poor members of MASSOB who toil monthly to pay money into his personal account as I speak with you, over N20 million is remitted to his account monthly, while those who died in the struggle are still abandoned in the mortuaries without proper burial.
“What we are saying is that we can no longer be used by Uwazuruike to enrich himself. While we are dying he is busy buying houses and exotic cars but we cannot continue like this anymore. We are calling on Igbo leaders to intervene because Uwazuruike has used the blood of innocent Igbo youths, who are killed daily while obeying his orders to make money”.
Also speaking, the leader of the Biafra Defense Mission, Comrade Ndubuisi Igwekani, warned that “if swift actions were not taken to call Uwazuruike to order, the security situation in Igboland will be seriously compromised”.
He said, “we have called on Igbo leaders, especially Ohaneze Ndigbo to call Uwazuruike to order because his kind of Biafra was not the one Ojukwu fought for. He has abandoned the struggle and now uses the MASSOB as a means to extort Ndigbo, we are out to stop him no matter what he does”.
However when contacted, Uwazuruike, said that he was not aware of such incident, “I got the information that there was a crisis at Okwe few minutes ago and I will get in touch with my administrators to know what was happening. There was no problem, except that some of the security men working at the headquarters were transferred but were yet to relocate and that may have been misconstrued as disobedience to my instructions”.