There was tension yesterday at Okwe in Onuimo Local Government Area of Imo State, as over 100 armed policemen stormed the headquarters of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), to dislodge the MASSOB commanders.
They had resisted the ejection order of the embattled leader of the group, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, over the leadership crisis rocking it.
An eyewitness said the operation, which sent residents scampering for safety, began at 6am and lasted for hours.
The source added: “We were woken up by the sound of guns and we scampered for safety, not knowing where the gunshots were coming from. Later we discovered that policemen were shooting at the MASSOB headquarters.”
Speaking with The Nation, MASSOB Director of Information, Comrade Uchenna Madu, who was purportedly sacked by the MASSOB leader, alleged that the policemen vandalised the MASSOB headquarters in a bid to dislodge the commanders, who were occupying the secretariat against the directive of Uwazuruike.
He said: “We learnt that the policemen were acting on an order from above to force out the commanders from the headquarters. Uwazuruike lied to the Presidency that we were working with the opposition to frustrate President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election.
“How else can the police explain that Uwazuruike, who was earlier summoned by the command, would suddenly turn round to provide them with tactical support against the commanders, who were agitating for their right and opposing Uwazuruike’s misrule and betrayal.
“But the truth is that we are not against President Jonathan or conspiring with any party to oppose his re-election. We are only insisting that Uwazuruike should render account of how he has managed the resources meant for the struggle.”
Madu said none of the commanders was arrested in the pre-dawn operation.
Confirming the incident, police spokesman Andrew Enwerem said it was in continuation of the manhunt for those involved in the killing of MASSOB members.