The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has declared a one week sit-at-home protest across the South-East states starting from November 5, the eve of the governorship election in Anambra State. IPOB’s Media and Public Secretary, Emma Powerful, in a statement on Saturday in Awka, the Anambra State capital, said the protest was aimed at prevailing on the Federal Government to release its leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
The group vowed that the protest would go on as planned if Nnamdi Kanu was not released before November 4. Nnamdi Kanu is facing trial on a seven-count amended charge bordering on treason and terrorism.
The Federal Government of Nigeria had blamed the IPOB leader for the murder of Dr. Chike Akunyili, the husband of a former Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, late Prof. Dora Akunyili.
A Presidential committee set up by the President Muhammadu Buhari had also accused Nnamdi Kanu of being responsible for the murder of a former presidential aide, Ahmad Gulak, and over 184 others in the South-East.
The 24-member committee comprised members from the Federal Ministry of Justice, the Federal Ministry of Information, the Nigeria Police Force, the Department of State Services, the National Intelligence Agency and the Defence Intelligence Agency.
The committee, headed by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami said consequent upon the instigating directives of Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB members and the Eastern Security Network carried out massive attacks on democratic institutions, especially facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission to hamper democratic process in Nigeria.
Nnamdi Kanu was arraigned on October 21, 2021 with Journalists prevented from entering the court to cover the proceedings and the case was adjourned till November 10, 2021 for further hearing.
But IPOB in a statement on Saturday asked the Federal Government of Nigeria to release Nnamdi Kanu from custody before November 4, threatening to impose a one-week sit-at-home order across the South East, which could disrupt the November 6 governorship election in Anambra state.
The statement read in part; “Following the adjournment of our great leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s court case to November 10, 2021, by the Federal High Court Abuja, we, the great movement and family of the Indigenous People of Biafra, wish to inform Biafrans, friends of Biafra and lovers of freedom that IPOB will lock down Biafraland from November 5, 2021 to November 10, 2021 except Sunday, November 7th, a day our people worship the Almighty God, if the Nigerian Government fails to release our leader unconditionally before 4th of November, 2021.”
The secessionist group said though it was aware of the adverse effects of the sit-at-home order on the people, it took such a drastic measure to achieve a better purpose in the collective interest of Biafrans.
The statement added, “We have taken time to analyse what transpired on October 21, 2021 when our leader was arraigned and discovered that the Federal Government is not sincere and only wants to humiliate him and keep him perpetually in DSS custody to rot there.
“We all saw how Lawyers, Journalists, Igbo delegates, respected traditional rulers and other people who came from all around the world to witness his court case were restricted and denied access into the court premises by security agents who kept them outside under the scorching sun.”
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