Economic activities have again been disrupted in some major cities of Nigeria’s Southeast as residents stay indoors for fear of possible attacks following an already suspended sit-at-home order issued by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Some major streets states of Anambra and Imo were deserted in the early hours of Monday while some businesses were also shut as residents fear that opening shops may prompt attacks by hoodlums enforcing the order.
“It’s too risky to go out today,” a resident of Mbaise, Imo State who preferred anonymity told our correspondent on Monday. “People are genuinely afraid. What happened here on Monday last week is very sad. Imagine that buses belonging to a transport company, Libra was burnt.
“The hoodlums stopped the buses which had loaded for Lagos and ordered all the passengers to go down. Three passengers refused, wondering how they can be ordered to stop their journey after they had spent money to buy tickets. I’m telling you, those guys burnt the vehicles while those three people were still inside.”
The fear continues even as the IPOB last week, cancelled it earlier pronounced sit-at-home every Monday, until its detained leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is released.
Speaking on Radio Biafra, IPOB’s executive, Chika Edoziem, had announced the suspension of the action.
Edoziem said the sit-at-home would be declared whenever Kanu would be making appearance in court and not every Monday as earlier directed.
Reacting, the group’s media and publicity secretary, Emma Powerful, had explained that the suspension was a directive from the leader, Kanu.
He said the group had taken into cognizance the concerns expressed by Biafrans all over the world over the suspension of the sit-at-home directive.
He, however, stated that should there be another directive from the group’s highest command requiring a reactivation of the suspended weekly sit-at-home, there would be no hesitation to lift the suspension.
The statement reads, “The suspension of the sit-at-home by the IPOB Head of Directorate was as a result of a direct order from the leader of this great movement, Nnamdi Kanu.
“There is no gainsaying the fact that one of the major fundamental guiding principles of IPOB is command and control. This simply means that all commands from the supreme leader of IPOB will be obeyed and implemented to the latter by the Directorate of State of the Indigenous People of Biafra.
“Bearing in mind therefore that this principle has enabled this movement to surpass even the expectations of both Biafrans and non-Biafrans alike, the leadership wishes to encourage Biafran to focus on the most pressing issue confronting this great family presently which is ensuring the safety of our leader while still in the illegal custody of the DSS and to secure his unconditional release from detention.
“In accordance with the directive from our leader, our sit-at-home will in the meantime be observed on the date of our leader’s court appearances.”