Following the outbreak of violence in Onitsha, Anambra State, which resulted in the alleged razing down of Onitsha Central Mosque and torching of some trucks belonging to the Dangote Group, the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, and the Indigenous People of Biafra, IBOP, yesterday called off any planned dialogue with the Federal Government.
The recourse to acts of arson followed the reported shooting of the pro-Biafra protesters at the Onitsha Bridge by security forces.
This is just as the two pro-Biafra groups pressed home their demand on the Federal Government to release their detained leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
It would be recalled that MASSOB and IPOB members have in the past few weeks grounded activities to a halt in the South East geo-political zone in a renewed agitation for the creation of the sovereign State of Biafra hinged on perceived injustice, marginalization and neglect meted to the people of the region.
The acting leader of MASSOB, Uchenna Madu, in a statement made available to reporters yesterday, also distanced members of the group and IPOB from the violence in Onitsha, blaming the act on hoodlums sponsored by the Federal Government.
The statement reads in part: “The setting of Ontisha Central Mosque, vehicles ablaze and making of burning fires which depicts violence are not done by the members of IPOB or MASSOB under my leadership.
“This unwarranted acts of violence are perfected by hoodlums sponsored by agents of the Federal Government to create impression that non-violence and peaceful pro-Biafra group have turned violent on our agitation for Biafra. Our oppressors are no longer comfortable. There is no evidence of terrorism in our protest. How can we now resort to violence now that we’re told that the presidency is about negotiating with leaders of pro-Biafra group?
“With today’s killing of our members and injuring many with bullet shots, we are no longer comfortable with the presidency’s move for dialogue. Federal Government move for dialogue is hypocritical and deceitful. Any Igbo group, organization and persons negotiating, meeting or dialoguing with the presidency on our behalf without our consent or mandate should stop now.
“MASSOB led by Uchenna Madu and IPOB led by Nnamdi Kanu have never mandated any person to negotiate for us. Even in this persecution, arrest, killings, clampdown, suppression against us by Nigeria Government, we shall continue and intensify our non-violence agitation for Biafra. For Nigeria to release their Armed Forces against non-violence, defenseless Biafra agitators shows their wickedness and the devilish mind of President Muhammad Buhari against our people”.