Relief as IPOB suspends sit-at-home protest

By AdvocateNews on 15/08/2021

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• Action now for Nnamdi Kanu’s court appearance days

•Ohanaeze, others applaud pro-Biafra group over move

Stakeholders and residents of the five Southeast states heaved a sigh of relief Saturday when the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) decided to suspend its ‘Ghost Monday’ protest which it had launched last week to press for the release of its detained leader, Nnamdi Kanu.

The second ‘Ghost Monday’ was to have come up tomorrow (Monday).

The first one had sparked bloodshed, arson, attack on people and lockdown of socio and economic activities across the zone.

The group said Saturday that the sit-at-home protest would now be observed only on Kanu’s trial days.

The Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, welcomed the suspension of the protest and applauded IPOB for “listening to wise counsels and surrendering to the will of the people.”

Secretary General of Ohanaeze, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, said it was good that IPOB “toed the path of honour and called off the absurd and futile sit-at-home declaration.

“This adjustment must follow up with consultations with all stakeholders, especially the governors and Igbo leadership. There must be synergy between all Igbo stakeholders to avert counter orders, and all spontaneous movements and events must discontinue henceforth and everyone should ensure that our adversaries do not pick up our missteps for their gains.”

He advised IPOB to consider the welfare of Ndigbo in any proclamations “because a day of reckoning is near when the falcon might not hear the falconer and the centre might not hold any longer. Ndigbo will not continue to obey all the time if the difficulties and agonies continue in the future.”

Speaking with The Nation yesterday, the Vice President of Ohanaeze, Southeast, Ichie Damian Okeke -Ogene, said the timing of the protest was wrong because it coincided with the examination period of thousands of young Igbo boys and girls.

“This decision by IPOB to suspend the sit-at-home now is very commendable. We appreciate that gesture from the group,” Okeke-Ogene said.

The Anambra State Coordinator, Transform Nigeria Movement (TNM), Comrade Obi Ochije, told The Nation that dialogue was what everybody or group needed at the moment.

He said what IPOB had done showed they had the interest of the people at heart also, adding that the students were the leaders of tomorrow.

“The sit-at-home order suspension is a good one especially as it would have affected our children. IPOB has done well in calling it off. We commend them for this,” Ochije said.

A resident in Awka, Mr Stanley Ejemba, described the initial decision by IPOB as senseless, but commended the Biafra agitators for listening to the voice of reason.

A female trader, who does not want to be quoted, blasted IPOB for inflicting what she referred to as hardship on Ndigbo and making some of the students not to sit for their exam last Monday.

The Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) and the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council (OYC) also welcomed the protest suspension.

President-General of OYC, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike said in Enugu that his group was “gladdened that the agitators listened to our earlier appeal that other diplomatic channels, involving Igbo leaders should be explored in seeking the freedom of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

“We say that this decision by the IPOB family should be utilised by Igbo leaders to meet with the Federal Government and ensure unconditional release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, who we continue to say is a political prisoner.”

He asked Southeast leaders to ensure that Kanu is freed as soon as possible.

Spokesman of ADF, Chief Abia Onyike, said the protest should not have been ordered in the first place.

His words: “”Our own argument is that there was no need for the sit-at-home in the first place here in the southeast.

“Any form of protest should have been done in Abuja, at national and international levels, to draw attention of the authorities to the manner Nnamdi Kanu was abducted and brought to Nigeria and for the Igbo self-determination struggle.

“But when you bring it home the way they did last Monday, it is our people that will suffer. Our businesses will be grounded and the lower income people cannot undertake their trade with which they feed their families. They need to go out on a daily basis in order to fend for themselves. It is a welcome development”.

A Professor of Public Health Parasitology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Prof. Dennis Aribodor, described the decision as a welcome development.

Aribodor urged the Federal Government to start addressing issues that fuel separatist movements across the country and the citizens be made to feel to belong.

He said: “Fairness and justice should be extended to all groups. Government should explore political solutions to the myriads of political problems stunting the country’s growth. This is the only viable option to frequent separatist agitations and movements.

“There should be sincerity of purpose by the political class irrespective of political divide to fundamentally address issues hindering Nigeria from achieving desired progress.”

A cleric, Chijioke Nwokeke said: “The suspension of the every Monday sit-at-home order is the wisest thing for them to do because the first one was not going to be sustainable at the long run.

“I give it to them that they have shown who is in charge of the Southeast.”

Announcing the protest suspension, IPOB Head of the Directorate of States, Chika Edoziem,  said: “ The weekly sit-at-home stands suspended, which means on coming Monday, there will be no Ghost Town in Biafraland.

“Our sit-at-home will be on each court date when our leader, Onye Ndu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, will be appearing in court.”

He, however, enjoined their members to continue praying for their leader “that his health may not fail him and grant him victory for Biafrans.” (Nation)


Posted 15/08/2021 05:29:01 AM


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