A faction of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has expelled Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, who heads another faction of the group.
National officers of MASSOB yesterday inaugurated a new leadership, led by former National Director of Information of the group, Uchenna Madu and Ugwuoke Ibem Ugwuoke.
The new leadership warned Uwazuruike to stop “parading himself as the leader or using Ojukwu’s name to dupe Ndigbo to pursue his political ambition”.
A communique by the National Officers and Administrators at Okwe, MASSOB’s Headquarters, said “the development is to redeem and revive the lost spirit and confidence of the Biafra revolution in our people, friends and sympathisers.
“A vote of no confidence and total rejection has been passed in Ralph Uwazuruike. His inability to sustain and maintain Ojukwu’s dream of Biafra, his deviation into the mainstream of Nigerian politics and using the Biafra struggle to enhance his selfish political ambition, are the onus of our rejection of his association with Biafra struggle”.
The new leadership also indicted the sacked MASSOB leader in the fraudulent extortion of members to enrich himself.
“The introduction of the Biafra international passport was a dubious means through which he generated about N1, 000, 000 for himself. The existence of the passport without Biafra sovereignty was illegal. Today, the passport is useless to holders, even Uwazuruike does not use it.
“The over N40 million realised from the dedication of the Biafran war veterans’ home in Okwe, built by MASSOB members, remains unaccounted for.
“In the light of these developments, we felt that Uwazuruike has betrayed the leadership mantle Dim Odimegwu Ojukwu bestowed upon him”.
Also reading its report, the four-man committee, which probed Uwazuruike’s leadership of MASSOB, indicted him of fraud and gross betrayal.
The committee, headed by Comrade Samuel Edison, alleged that MASSOB contributed N4 billion in monthly dues and other levies in the last 16 years, but were unaccounted for.
“In the course of work, we found out that MASSOB members, in the last 16 years, contributed about N4 billion, which remain unaccounted for.
“With these evidences and exposures, the committee finds Uwazuruike guilty of corruption, embezzlement and betrayal of MASSOB struggle and living extravagant life as if he is a politician or government contractor. The committee recommends that Uwazuruike be expelled from MASSOB”.
In his acceptance letter, Madu said: “Today’s event is a sign of new hope, vision and self-determination. The new leadership of MASSOB will work with other genuine pro-Biafra groups in the spirit of Biafranism with unity of purpose.
“We are more determined and motivated for the cause we so much believe in, the vision we vowed to pursue, the mission that must be accomplished.
”We shall strengthen our already built relationship with the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), BILIE Human Right Initiatives, Igbo Youth Cultural Association, United Eastern Congress, Lower Niger Congress and Niger Delta Self Determination groups.
“Non-violence and peaceful agitation shall continue to be our cardinal point. We shall never resort to armed struggle, though our oppressor provokes us”.
As at the time of publishing this report, Mr. Uwazuruike was yet to comment on his purported expulsion from MASSOB.