Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, has urged the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to suspend its sit-at-home directive, and instead seek other alternatives to showing solidarity with its detained leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
Ohanaeze noted that sit-at-home is hurting the economy of the Southeast zone, and cannot be best way to go.
The IPOB had declared a sit-at-home order to be observed every Monday to protest the incarceration of Kanu, which it would continue until he is released.
Kanu has been in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) since June, but only appeared briefly before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja for terrorism-related charges.
The July 26 trial has been adjourned till October 21, 2021 as the secret police failed to bring the secessionist leader to court.
IPOB then commanded a sit-at-home in the Southeast which turned bloody on Monday as hoodlums killed about four people and burnt vehicles.
Reacting, the 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 said.
Ogbonnia told Punch that shutting down the socio-economic activities of the region was not the best way for IPOB to show support for Kanu.
“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 for Nnamdi Kanu short of shutting down the socio-economic activities of the Southeast,” Punch quoted him as saying.
“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.”