About 23 men believed to be members of Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) have been arrested by the Nigerian Police. They were apprehended by youths in Ikwa village, Ikot Abasi and handed over to the police, penultimate Sunday.
They were said to have built a training/camping ground in the villlage and had stayed in the village for close to a week before they were apprehended and handed over to the police by the youths.
Speaking with TheMail Newspaper, the village head of Ikwa, Chief Etebom said the men came in batches and settled in the village.
“The camp they settled is very big. It is big like a 40 x 40 football field. We have been living in fear here”, said Etebom.
Also speaking with our reporter, a youth of the area who didn’t want his name on print said the situation is pathetic. He called on security operatives to help curb the prevalence of crime in the area.
“It is very sad. We have been living here in total fear due to the incessant armed robbery and kidnappings of people in the
area. I am using this medium to call on the police and other security agencies to come to our rescue”.
Enquiries by TheMail reveal that there have
been over 5 recent cases of kidnappings and high level robberies which took place without any resistance from security agents. Some indigenes of Ikot Abasi who spoke to us said that the police had recently arrested some suspects but that they heard the suspects have been released.
Speaking to TheMail Newspaper, the Member Representing Ikot Abasi State Constituency in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Hon Uduak Odudoh decried the high spate of kidnappings, armed robberies and other crimes in Ikot Abasi.
“I heard that some strangers were arrested in Ikwa village. I am aware of the situation and I have reported it to security agencies to take it up. I don’t know whether they are MASSOB members; so I will allow the security agents to do their job. But the high spate of kidnappings and robberies in Ikot Abasi is really worrisome”, said Hon. Odudoh.
Reacting, the Police Public Relations Officer in Akwa Ibom, ASP Cordelia Nwawe confirmed the arrest but said she cannot confirm if they are Biafran militants. Nwawe said the police is currently investigating matter and will issue an official statement when done with the investigation.