The Indigenous People of Biafra has ordered the arrest of Monday sit-at-home enforcers in the South-East. This is yet another chapter in the continuing story of the Monday sit-at-home in Igboland.
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) had instituted a sit-at-home every Monday starting from 9th August, 2021 and pledge to continue it until its Leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu was unconditionally released from DSS detention.
On Monday, 9th August, there were no serious commercial activities across some cities and towns in the south-east following the sit-at-home order.
Subsequently on August 14th 2021, Chika Edoziem, IPOB’s Head of Directorate (HOD) of its Directorate of State (DOS) called off the sit at home.
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However, the sit-at-home had continued and reasons for its continuation varies depending on who was speaking.
For proponents and sympathizers of the Biafra agitation group, the people have decided to sit-at-home on the own accord to show their support to the IPOB Leader. Amongst those holding this view are a majority of the IPOB members, including its leadership. For the others, people are sitting at home out of fear of the unknown.
August, September, and October have gone, and IPOB through its spokesman is calling for the arrest of those enforcing the Monday sit-at-home.
According to news article plan Punch, The Media and Publicity Secretary of the secessionist group, Emma Powerful, gave the directive on Thursday in a statement made available to its correspondent in Awka, Anambra State.
Emma Powerful called on community and religious leaders in the region to devise ways to arrest the hoodlums enforcing the sit-at-home, and afterwards hand them over to IPOB authorities in the localities.
The group’s statement read in part, “We wish to reiterate once again that IPOB has cancelled Monday sit-at-home order and anybody or group enforcing the relaxed order is neither from IPOB nor from IPOB volunteer group.
“We are advising our people to ignore anybody enforcing non-existent Monday sit-at-home order and go about their normal business because such person(s) are working for our enemies and their intention is to blackmail IPOB and set the movement against the people but they won’t succeed.
“Anyone caught adding to the pain of our people in the name of enforcing Monday sit-at-home order will be treated as the enemy that he or she is.
“We, therefore, warn these agents of darkness using the name of IPOB to enforce a non-existent sit-at-home to desist because if we lay hold on them they will eternally regret their evil actions.
“Why should such unpatriotic elements be inflicting pain on our people and dragging our image to the mud? IPOB remains a non-violent movement and our peaceful approach for Biafra restoration has not changed.
“We hereby direct community leaders, market leaders, church leaders, and other institutions of authority in Biafra land to arrest any hoodlum trying to enforce any sit-at-home on Mondays and hand them over to IPOB. Such criminal elements must be treated in a language they understand.
Recalled that the IPOB leadership had ordered sit-at-home protest for Mondays so as to prevail on the Federal Government to release its leader, Nnamdi Kanu. The order was, however, cancelled after it was observed once on August 9.
The order is, however, still being observed by residents of the South-East, while those who flouted the directive were visited with consequences by purported IPOB enforcers.
IPOB in the statement on Thursday said, “Nobody has the powers to enforce the same suspended sit-at-home using the name of IPOB. Such a person is an impostor working for the killing squad of the Nigerian DSS and Nigerian security agencies and should be treated as such if apprehended.
“The only day sit-at-home will be observed in Biafraland is when our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is appearing in court, and we shall, as usual, make it public for all to know.”
Nnamdi Maduakor is a Writer, Investor and Entrepreneur