From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
THERE was jubilation in some parts of Onitsha and Okpoko towns in Anambra State following the release of 11 of the 14 members of the Biafra Independence Movement (BIM) in police custody.
Those released by police included Lady Pauline Muoghalu, Nze Duru Alisi and nine others, who were among the 34 members of the group arrested by the Joint Task Force (JTF) last month.
The BIM members were arrested and taken into police custody during a peaceful procession on September 13, 2016 to mark 17 years of non-violent agitation for the actualisation of a sovereign state of Biafra.
The Director of Information of BIM, Mr. Chris Mocha, who spoke to newsmen shortly after the detainees were granted bail by the Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Atani in Ogbaru Local Government Area (LGA) of the state, urged members of the group to remain steadfast in the struggle.
He, however, urged the Nigerian Army in Onitsha to avoid taking laws into their hands and hand over to the police 18 of their members that had been in its custody since their arrest in September.
Mocha also advised various splinter groups to emulate the non-violent approach of the Ralph Uwazuruike-led BIM in carrying out their agitations for Biafra, stating that it was the same method that most renowned emancipators like Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Ghandi, among others, employed in pursuing the independence of their people, which they achieved.
He warned other Biafra agitators not to hide under the cover of BIM to cause trouble, urging security agencies to arrest and prosecute anyone who attempts to use the name of the group to perpetrate evil in the society.