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Massob Begins Seizure of Fuel Tankers Apr. 1

By Tony Edike, Vanguard (Lagos), 29 March 2001

Umuahia—The leadership of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has warned that the group would begin the seizure of loaded fuel tankers moving from any part of the eastern states to the north, with effect from April 1.

The national legal adviser to the movement, Mr. Uche Okwukwu told newsmen in Umuahia that the decision was taken at the meeting of the association's board of national co-ordinators in November, last year.

He said that the measure could only be suspended when the federal government and the NNPC redressed the existing imbalance and inequity inherent in the distribution of petroleum products in the country.

He alleged that there was a deliberate attempt by the federal government to continue to marginalise the eastern region in the scheme of things, adding that the quantity of fuel allocated to the region, was far below what other sections of the country recieved.

Okwukwu, who hails from Elele in Rivers state, said that it was an irony that the region, which, according to him, generated the greater volume of oil in the country, could be deliberately marginalised in the distribution process, which had led to acute scarcity of petrol in the area.

Said he: by the resolution , it was decided that no tanker loaded with petrol would leave the east. We would seize the tanker, confiscate the product, and sell it to the public at approved price.

After the sales, we will send the proceeds back to NNPC, either through courrier or any other means, for onward return to the owner.

He said that the structure for the effective execution of the measure had been put in place.

The legal adviser said that the group was set to resist attempts from any quarters to clamp down on them, saying:

We are aware that the government will roll out its armoured tanks to clamp down on us, but we shall resist it with our last blood.

He also reiterated the association's call for the convocation of a sovereign national conference, where fundamental issues bothering on the corporate existence of the country could be discussed.