Rivers State Police Command has distanced itself from the allegation that it brought the pro-Biafran protesters it arraigned before the Magistrate’s Court half naked.
This came as the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB expressed determination to realise its secession dream without violence.
The River’s Police command dismissed the statement and the pictures published by some online media as malicious and deceitful, adding that the force cannot manhandle suspects. This was contained in a press statement issued, weekend, and signed by the Public Relations Officer of the command, DSP Ahmad Muhammad who said the police did not bring the suspects to the court naked. He said the police force is an institution that has respect for humanity, adding that the Rivers State Police Command is a responsible agency that had never at any time paraded suspects in such a dehumanizing scene let alone doing so before a court of law.
The statement read in part: “It is instructive to state categorically that the pictures displayed along the news item did not emanate from the command that is known for the respect for the dignity of suspects. A close look at the horrible pictures indicated the people therein are more than ten as against the number stated in the news item.”
The command, Wednesday last week, arraigned ten pro-Biafra protesters before Magistrate Courts Seven and Fourteen in Port Harcourt on two charges of criminal conspiracy and treasonable felony.
Meantime, the leader of the Chief Ralph Uwazuruike faction of the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, Solomon Chukwu, has said that an independent state of Biafra would only be achieved without violence.
Chukwu who spoke through MASSOB’s National Director for Information, Sunny Okereafor, condemned the violence and killings which trailed the recent protest calling for the release of Radio Biafra Director, Nnamdi Kanu in Aba, and accused the Uchenna Madu faction of being sponsored by politicians to sabotage Biafra.
According to him, “MASSOB condemns the violence and killings in Aba over the detention of Nnamdi Kanu. We only support peaceful agitation and genuine protest. We don’t carry knives or gun. Our leader, Ralph Uwazuruike has stated severally that Biafra will only be achieved through non-violence. If you watch our activities, we are non- violent in our approach to the Biafran struggle. That is why people see us as the genuine pro-Biafra group. With this violence and killings in Onitsha, Aba and other cities, what have they achieved? Nothing. Why have all these violent protests and killings not led to the release of Nnamdi Kanu? What sense does it make for you to cause violence and killing of the same people you want to liberate? MASSOB has no hand in it.
“The federal government should question Uchenna Madu and his cohorts for the violence and killings in Aba. He has been expelled from MASSOB and should stop using the name of the Movement to commit violence. Anybody doing business with Uchenna Madu under the name of MASSOB does it at his own risk.”
The MASSOB leader urged the federal government to release Nnamdi Kanu, stressing that his continued detention has heightened the call for an independent state of Biafra and proven the fact that the people of the former Eastern region, are not wanted in Nigeria. (Vanguard)