ENUGU—Barrister Benjamin Onwuka, leader of Biafra Zionist Movement, BZM, whose group had announced its plan to re-declare the Republic of Biafra in Enugu on Monday, November 5, 2012, was, yesterday, allegedly abducted by members of the Ralph Uwazulike-led Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB.
Also whisked away from their residences to an unknown destination were the BZM National Chairman, Samuel Edeson, Nweke Nweke, National Secretary and Chukwuma Orienta, a member of the group from Onitsha.
However, MASSOB has said the BZM leaders where not abducted, but invited for questioning over their November 5 plans.
Meanwhile, BZM’s Director of Mobilisation, Cornelius Anyanwu, who disclosed this in a chat with newsmen, yesterday, said the fierce-looking men believed to have been sent by Chief Uwazulike, stormed the residences of the four BZM leaders yesterday morning, forced them into their cars and drove them to an unknown place.
He said one of the BZM leaders called on phone to alert them that they were being driven to Uwazulike’s Okwe home in Imo State, explaining that the abduction of the group’s leaders was part of Uwazulike and his MASSOB’s plot to abort the planned re-declaration of Biafra on Monday, which, he said, had generated a lot of interest among Ndigbo, both in Nigeria and in Diaspora.
He said: “We have concluded all necessary arrangements for successful inauguration of Biafra Republic on November 5.
“The mobilisation of our supporters, including all Igbos had been intensified before this sabotage by the MASSOB leader, who has since abandoned the Biafran agitation and resorted to working with the Nigerian government to subdue Biafra.”
According to him, the BZM had scheduled a meeting in Enugu, yesterday morning ahead of Monday’s event, before the abduction.
MASSOB’s spokesman, Mr. Uchenna Madu, confirmed that the BZM leaders were under their custody but explained that members of the Uwazulike-led MASSOB in Enugu State only “summoned” them for questioning regarding their plan for November 5.
He said: “Our men did not abduct the BZM leaders. Rather, we invited them to a meeting to find out why they want to re-declare Biafra after it had been declared many years ago.
“We want to reason with them about what they planned for Monday. We are in support of Biafra but what they (BZM) are doing amounts to making caricature of the Biafran struggle.
“It must stop because the security operatives are disturbing our members thinking that MASSOB is behind the move.”
Madu denied allegations by BZM members that the Federal Government was using Uwazulike against their campaign for the actualisation of Biafra, saying there was no pact between the government and the MASSOB leader.