The outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) yesterday declared every Monday, effective August 9,2021, a sit-at-home day to press for the release of its detained leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
But Igbo apex socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has kicked against the move, warning that it could worsen the economic situation in the region.
Spokesman for IPOB, Emma Powerful,said in a statement in Awka,Anambra State threatened ‘huge consequences’ against anyone found flouting the ‘order’.
“Nobody should attempt to flout this directive as doing so may come with huge consequences. Anybody flouting this order is taking a grave risk,” he said.
He called the sit-at-home day ‘ghost Monday’.
He said:“This declaration takes effect from Monday, August 9, 2021. From that day Biafra land will be on lockdown every Monday from 6:00am to 6:00pm until our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu who was unlawfully abducted in Kenya and illegally detained by the federal government of Nigeria is released.”
According to him the sit-at-home is to “show the world how serious we are towards this fight for Biafra freedom and independence.”
Continuin, he said: “Everybody must adhere to this clarion call put in place by the leadership of IPOB and it would be good for everyone to know that IPOB will not relent until Biafra is fully achieved.
“The DSS can go ahead and keep our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu incommunicado without access to him.
“We observed that DSS operatives are torturing our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu to the point of death that was why they don’t want anybody to see his state of health in the DSS facility.
“DSS should know that if anything untoward happens to him we are going to confirm what IPOB is made of and they will understand that we are prepared for this freedom. Our Leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is not a criminal and has the rights to be visited in their custody.
“This is a call for Biafran leaders, politicians especially those mentioned as those behind his abduction and extradition to Nigeria, if anything happens to our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, all of them should prepare never to come back to Biafraland because it will not accommodate us together.
“Nobody should take our quietness as cowardice. Our intelligence reveals that Nnamdi Kanu is under serious torture and humiliation because he refused all offers given to him.
“We declare every Monday sit- at- home throughout Biafra land until our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, regains his freedom.
“The federal government must allow him access to his personal physicians, and allow him to sign documents given to him by the British Government to provide him consular assistance. This peaceful protest will continue ones every week until our demands are met.
“We urge Biafrans to be prepared because we will no longer fold our arms while our leader who is fighting for the liberation of the oppressed indigenous nationalities in Nigeria is languishing in detention. We are going to cripple Nigerian economy until they free him.
“Consequently, all institutions public and private, transport companies, schools, banks, markets, airports and sea ports in Biafra land must shut down every Monday beginning from August 9.
“People are to remain indoors to register their concern over the fate of our Leader and the rest of all agitators languishing in various security detentions.”
Kanu , who was recently repatriated home after jumping bail in 2017,is facing trial for treason related charges.
A faction of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo has condemned the declaration. In a statement by the Secretary General, Okechukwu Isiguzoro, the apex Igbo socio-cultural group requested that Southeastern governors should be consulted with other stakeholders including Igbo traditional rulers and market administrators to ascertain the consequences of the sit- at- home orders in the past and the best strategies to free Nnamdi Kanu.
“It’s not in the best interest of Ndigbo to add more salt to injuries.There are better options that IPOB can use to push for the release of Nnamdi Kanu without inflicting hardships on Ndigbo through sit at home.IPOB should review their stance and see the bigger pictures of the discomforts and suffering of Igbos and adjust the sit-at -home from once a week to once a month.”