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Tension as IPOB allegedly plans one-week sit-at-home in the South East

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By Lawrence Njoku 

There is renewed anxiety over rumours that the next one week, beginning from Monday, January 17 may be observed as a sit-at-home in the South East in honour of the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

Kanu who has been in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) since last year, is billed to appear in court on January 18, 19 and 20th, in continuation of his trial at the Federal High Court. Abuja

The IPOB had earlier declared a total lockdown of the zone on days that Kanu is billed to appear in court as a mark of solidarity.

Yesterday witnessed a beehive of activities in the zone, as residents besieged markets and shops to make purchases and stock their homes for the period.

In Enugu, for instance, messages spread yesterday that residents should stay indoors until Friday, and not “risk their lives by coming out to do any business.”

Last Monday, the State literally turned into a theatre of war, when some gunmen fired indiscriminately in the guise of enforcing the Monday sit-at-home order

Although the IPOB had long cancelled the Monday exercise, the gunmen succeeded in burning cars, tricycles among others. This led to many that opened for businesses to sustain injuries.

Worried by the rumoured sit-at-home, the IPOB in a statement, yesterday, by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, said the group only called for sit-at-home on January 18 (Tuesday) to honour Kanu, who would be attending his court trial on that day.

“We are the Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB under the command of our indefatigable leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. Following our leader’s upcoming court proceedings on the 18th, 19th and 20th of January 2022, we wish to remind Biafrans that there will be only sit-at-home on 18th of January, and not 19th and 20th of January. In keeping with our avowed solidarity with our leader, the entire Biafra land will be on lockdown only on January 18 for obvious reasons.

“Biafrans should understand that 19th January is the judgment day in the suit by our leader against the Federal Government, which is pending before an Umuahia High Court. So, there will be no sit-at-home on that day,” the statement stated, adding: “Again, we don’t want to compound the pains of our people, hence we will limit the sit-at-home to only January 18. Biafrans and residents of Biafra are free to go about their businesses without molestations on 19th and 20th January. Anybody found enforcing a non-existent Monday sit-at-home on 17th, 19th and 20th is criminal and must be treated as such, IPOB leadership has given an order, and that order is what was signed.

It continued: “Everybody must be careful because these waves that are coming will consume many, and every principal of IPOB, mostly the coordinators, must know that it will bounce on their heads if they don’t checkmate the activities of members, and call them to order. IPOB is not a village or social club where everybody will behave in an untoward manner to people like cultists.

“For clarity sake, we reiterate that there will be no sit-at-home on January 19th and 20th. Nobody is expected to interfere with either human or vehicular movements on those days in any guise. Any detractor or agent of darkness caught obstructing peoples’ activities in Biafra land on January 19th and 20th in the name of enforcing a sit-at-home will regret his or her actions.

“We realise that some unscrupulous and traitors are trying to create confusion about these days by dishing out false information and propaganda and trying to create confusion in Biafra land. IPOB never declared a sit-at-home on 19th and 20th of January 2022. Therefore, we want all Biafrans to go to their normal business on these days without fear.

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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