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4 killed In MASSOB Mutiny As Aggrieved Commanders Strike Against Uwazuruike

From Ignatius Okpara, Enugu

Four persons were on Thursday feared dead and scores seriously injured as Commanders of the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) staged early morning coup to overthrow the embattled group’s leader Chief Ralph Uwazuruike.

The aggrieved members of the militia body at the violent exchanges took over the National Headquarters of the Movement at Okwe, in Onuimo Local Government of Imo State.

A member of the organisation who craved anonymity while speaking with African Examiner, said “the heavy fighting started at the high walled premises that served as the administrative headquarters of MASSOB as early as 7.30 am.

“Heavily 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”.

Later in an interview with the newsmen on the development, the National Secretary of MASSOB, Comrade Ugwuoke Ibem Ugwuoke, confirmed that they were attacked by thugs allegedly recruited by Uwazuruike, who stormed the Headquarters with sophisticated weapons.

He disclosed they were resisted by MASSOB Commanders who had already taken over the Secretariat.

Ugwuoke also disclosed that,“so many people were 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 indicated they were overpowered.

The Pan socio – cultural group’s scribe noted “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”, adding that the factional leader has receives over N20 million in his account monthly, while alleging those who died in the struggle were 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”, the Scribe contended.

In his reaction, leader of the Biafra Defense Mission, Comrade Ndubuisi Igwekani, warned that if quick actions were not taken to call Uwazuruike to order, the security situation in Igboland would be seriously compromised.

“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”, said Igwekani.

When contacted, Uwazuruike, said he was not aware of such incident.

“I got the information that there was 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” he responded


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