Thousands of Igbo men and women have come forward to recount tales of how officials of the Movement for the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), defrauded them with the promise of getting them Biafran International Passport.
According to findings by New Telegraph, MASSOB generated over N500 million from the sale of the passport alone. But the passport lead to nowhere, all those who obtained it could not travel with it.
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One of the victims, Ngwoke Ibem Ngwoke,described their misfortune as ‘mass deception’.
He said: ''I paid N10,000 to buy the passport. At the time, I was the Administrative Secretary. Members and interested persons paid the sum of N10,000 into a designated bank account at First Bank, then presented the teller to me.
''I verified and issued receipt and they in turn took the receipt to the passport officer, who was delegated by Uwazuruike (MASSOB Leader), one Ambrose Anyasoh, who will see the receipt and then issue the passport.
''Based on the assurances given to us by Uwazuruike, which we didn’t know were all lies and make-believe, we even urged people to buy and use the passport for ease of travel.
''Uwazuruike told us that he was set to travel with the Biafran passport, assuring us that there was no hindrance or security encumbrances travelling with the Biafran passport.
''One of our aged members bought Uwazuruike’s story like many of us did at the time and convinced his daughter who was about travelling to Europe to use the passport. The lady was arrested in Lagos and was detained for nearly two years. Uwazuruike did nothing to free her''.
According to him, four of Uwazuruike’s children and wife are overseas and none of them travelled with the Biafran passport.
Ngwoke stated that apart from the Biafran International Passport scam, Uwazurike and co. also collected monies for Biafra income tax and Biafra vehicle/motorcycle plate number.
He said: “Speaking about the area I operated and know very well, many people in the Nsukka area of Enugu State were clamped down in detention for several months for buying and using the MASSOB number plate as recommended by Chief Ralph Uwazuruike.
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Recall that a new faction has emerged from MASSOB, as the splinter group accused Uwazurike of sabotaging the group’s activities. The grouse of the aggrieved group then was traced to the alleged display of no concern my Uwazurike as members of the group were hounded by security operatives recently as they marked the 16th year anniversary of the organisation.
The faction’s director of information, Uchenna Madu had told newsmen that his faction would soon expose what he described as the insensitivity of Uwazuruike.
Meanwhile, President Muhammdu Buhari has been accused by the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign States of Biafra (MASSOB) of toying with the Igbos.