Leaders of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), South-south zone, have demanded the release of their members who were arrested when the police raided the residence of its leader, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike’s home at Owerri.
The group has given the Federal Government 48-hour ultimatum to release its arrested members .
The movement also demanded the immediate withdrawal of the invitation given to Uwazuruike by the police, alleging that the invasion of his residence was an assassination attempt on Uwazuruike.
Speaking through the Regional Administrator, Awka South Region, Chief Arinze Igbani, MASSOB said: “We are giving the government of Nigeria 48 hours to release all our members abducted on Saturday, September 5, 2015 at Ojukwu Memorial Library and Uwazuruike’s residence.
“We are also asking the government to forthwith, withdraw the purported invitation to our leader, Uwazuruike, as we view the action of Saturday as an assassination attempt on our leader.
“We have accepted Biafra as our own nation and that is why MASSOB members no longer talk in fear. The arrest of our members in Imo State did not go down well with us and we demand the unconditional release of those arrested.
“The Federal government cannot intimidate us; we have been on this struggle for years and as far as we are concerned, the arrest is politically-motivated. But one thing is certain; no government will end the Biafra struggle.”
Meanwhile, the Delta State Police Command said it arrested 156 persons suspected to be members of the Movement.
Police spokesman Celestina Kalu said 11 of the suspects were being held for investigations while others, including women and children, were warned and released.
She said those detained were the ring leaders and they would be prosecuted at the end of investigations.
Kalu said the suspects were arrested while they held their meeting at Oneh Primary School in Asaba.
Items recovered from the group included a CD plate, group photograph of members and the United Nation’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.
Others were Biafra National Anthem, World latest vote on Biafra, a Sony camera and a book, Agueleri: The pivot of the Bani-Israil in Nigeria.
The spokesman said anyone who contravenes the law would face the wrath of the law.