Okwe, NIGERIA: Lucia Ihim carries her nine-month-old sibbling Chidera Ihim, wearing Biafran colors, 19 August 2005 during a rally by the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra in Okwe in southeastern Nigeria. More than three decades after the breakaway "Republic of Biafra" suffered a bloody defeat at the hands of federal forces, rebellious shoppers are once again spending Biafran pounds and shillings in the markets of southeastern Nigeria. In the latest sign of the centrifugal forces threatening to tear Africa's largest oil exporter apart, ethnic Igbo rebel leaders have reintroduced the bills, which are identical to those minted during Biafra's doomed three-year struggle for independence. AFP PHOTO / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI (Photo credit should read PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images)

Separatist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has suspended a sit-at-home order it issued for Monday, tomorrow, due to the National Examination Council (NECO) examination for junior secondary schools scheduled to start from Monday.

IPOB stated that a new date for the commencement of the sit-at-home order would be announced later.

The pro-Biafra group had issued a sit-at-home order throughout Igboland in solidarity with its detained leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, starting from Monday, August 9, until he is released.

The move has been criticised by many, including governors of Anambra, Chief Willie Obiano; Abia, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu and Imo, Senator Hope Uzodinma, who had asked residents to ignore it and go about their normal business.

Many have also pointed out that the group’s constant resort to sit-at-home orders, is hurting businesses in Igboland.

Cancelling the order, however, in a statement by the IPOB leader’s younger brother, Kanunta Kanu, the group explained that it arrived at the decision, after listening to pleas from well-meaning individuals and groups that the order is suspended to allow students in Igbo land to participate in the NECO examination.

“IPOB has listened to pleas from well-meaning individuals and groups within and outside Biafra land that we consider the fate of our children who will be involved in the NECO Exam and based on that, we decided to shift grounds over the sit-at-home order,” the statement said.

“IPOB having realized the academic deprivation the already marginalized Biafra students who entered for this year’s NECO would suffer, decided to suspend the sit-at-home order to a later date, to allow the students to take their examinations.

“Allowing the sit-at-home to go ahead as earlier announced, in the face of the NECO Exam would amount to assisting enemies of Biafra to inflict more injuries on her children.

“As a group fighting for the liberation of her people from oppression from her enemies, we realized that it would amount to assisting the said enemies to inflict more harm on our children if we do not suspend the sit-at-home order to allow Biafra students to take their exams”.

The statement further explained that the sit-at-home order has not been cancelled, but only suspended for the sake of Biafra students taking this year’s NECO examination and called on IPOB members to await further directives.



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