Discontinue sit-at-home order, explore other means to support Kanu, Ohanaeze tells IPOB
The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has appealed to the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra to discontinue its sit-at-home order handed down to the people of the South-East and explore other means to demonstrate support for its embattled leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
The sit-at-home order declared by IPOB is to be observed every Monday to protest the detention of Kanu, the separatist leader who is in the custody of the Department of State Services and before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja for terrorism-related charges. Kanu’s trial has been adjourned till October 21, 2021.
However, IPOB’s sit-at-home order turned bloody on Monday as hoodlums wreaked havoc in Anambra and Imo States, killing at least four policemen and four other persons. Many were injured and vehicles were also burnt while banks, markets, schools, and other public places were shut down as people stayed indoors out of fear of being assailed outside.
National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Chief Alex Ogbonnia, in a chat with The Punch on Tuesday, condemned the killings and attacks on the people of the South-East on Monday.
“We are sad that we lost yet other lives to the process. Violence is not to be celebrated in any way at all. We have always urged them (IPOB) to thread on the side of caution because we believe that dialogue and deliberations are better ways of achieving results,” he told our correspondent in a phone interview.
Ogbonnia said shutting down the socio-economic activities of the region was not the best way for IPOB to show support for Kanu.
He said, “Ohanaeze’s position is that it should not continue. It is not necessary destroying the socio-economic activities of the South-East. There are other ways of expressing support to Nnamdi Kanu short of shutting down the socio-economic activities of the South-East.
“We are aware that people from Cameroon, people from other parts of Nigeria are in the South-East for commercial purposes. This disruption is not good for the development of the South-East, it is adding hardship to the people.
“Even yesterday (Monday), many people didn’t take the NECO examination because of the sit-at-home order. We have appealed to IPOB to reconsider its position and rather have a collective deliberation and come to a consensus on how to further press its demands short of disrupting economic activities.”