The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has renewed its pledge to halt economic and social activities in the region for a month, putting the Southeast on edge once more.
IPOB said it would withdraw the threat only if the Federal Government guaranteed that its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, would be brought to court on October 21 for trial.
The group’s most recent warning coincided with a weekend gunman rampage in Nnewi, Anambra State
The hoodlums killed two people, injured one, and set fire to a DSS vehicle as well as the home of a Lagos-based All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Joe Igbokwe, in the town.
They also bombed the Federal Road Safety Corps and the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH).
Southeast governors and other zone leaders are scheduled to meet tomorrow in Enugu to discuss putting an end to the killings and destruction of property in the region.
They are also expected to discuss measures to encourage residents of the zone to go about their daily lives on Mondays, following the cancellation of Ghost Mondays by IPOB.
Despite the Southeast governors’ efforts to mediate, IPOB reiterated that the one-month sit-in would be enforced beginning October 21 due to the government’s alleged plan to keep Kanu imprisoned.
The group sought the support of other ethnic nationality activists for the sit-in.
IPOB urged all agitators to put their differences aside and rise as one people to defend their ancestral land against their common enemy in a statement issued by its Media and Public Secretary, Emma Powerful
Following our earlier declaration of a one-month lockdown of Biafraland if the Nigerian government fails to bring our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, to court on October 21, we, the global family of the Indigenous of Biafra, request our brothers and sisters in the Oduduwa Republic and Middle Belt, including Igbo and Biafra businessmen and women, traders who are doing business in Biafraland.
“All supporters of Biafra, including Christian communities in the North and other parts of Nigeria, who face unnecessary humiliation, intimidation, and killings at the hands of terrorists, bandits, and murderous herdsmen, should recognize that the time has come for all victims of impunity and atrocities to unite in resistance.
“We need to put our differences aside and rise as one people to defend our ancestral land against our common enemy and show… that Nigeria belongs to all of us all, and any Biafra man residents in Kano, Kaduna, Jos, Gigawa, and other parts of North and Western Nigeria must close their shops in support of our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s, fight for freedom and release.
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“We cannot afford to abandon him at this point after he has given so much for all of us. We must not lose sight of the fact that the Federal Government fears Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Ighoho, two freedom fighters, and wishes to keep them out of the public eye. But we must stand up to the evil plot.”
However, a senior police officer, who requested anonymity, told reporters that “the Force will soon launch a massive, well-coordinated, target-oriented, and intelligence-driven operation aimed at neutralizing this threat.”
The security situation in Anambra State, on the other hand, has deteriorated, with gunmen on the loose in the Nnewi metropolis
They shot one dead at point-blank range while filming them and set fire to the DSS vehicle parked on Eme Court Road in town.
The second was killed by the gunmen in the town’s Traffic Junction.
One person was injured at the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) office and NAUTH.
The FRSC office had no casualties, but the personnel on duty were forced to flee due to sporadic shootings by the hoodlums.
According to reports, the gunmen fled the town before an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) arrived.
Southeast governors and other leaders will meet tomorrow in Enugu to discuss ways to put an end to the killings and property destruction.
They are also expected to discuss measures to encourage residents of the zone to go about their business on Mondays, following the cancellation of the IPOB’s Sit-at-Home protest.
Ikenga Tochukwu, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), who confirmed the incident, stated that the command had not received all of the details.
“At about 2 p.m. on October 3rd, 2021, the command received a distress call of a fire incident in Nnewi,” he said. The police are currently on the scene, and the area has been cordoned off.”
Igbokwe confirmed that his home had been destroyed and blamed it on IPOB.
“The IPOB stormed my house in Nnewi. “I am sure they raised the house, giving the jerrycans of petrol I saw being offloaded from their Toyota Sienna via CCTV,” he wrote on Facebook.
Igbokwe, who is also the Special Adviser on Gutter and Drainage to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, thanked God for keeping him “alive,” but added that the loss of his study room is his fault.
The APC leader recently accused IPOB of murdering Dr. Chike Akunyili, the late former Information Minister Prof. Dora Akunyili’s husband
The deterioration of security in the Southeast, particularly in Anambra State ahead of the November governorship election, has prompted another round of “urgent meetings” by Southeast governors.
According to a memo from the governors’ forum Chairman, Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, other political leaders, Ohanaeze Ndigbo leadership, religious leaders, and traditional leaders would attend the meeting.
Umahi begged his colleagues to let him attend the meeting in person.
The memo begins, “Please, be present…and not on a representative capacity so that together we can reach some decisions to salvage our region, which is currently battling with a high rate of insecurity.”
“As a result, I respectfully request that you make every effort to attend this meeting for the sake of Ndigbo.”
According to a source close to one of the governors, the governors will most likely discuss the delay in the launch of the regional security system, Ebubeagu, in most Southeast states. They may also speak about Kanu’s incarceration and trial.
However, the Igbo National Movement (INM) claimed that Southeast governors were “sleeping on duty” due to insecurity in the zone.
It claimed that the governors, as the zone’s chief security officers, had failed to demonstrate leadership.
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According to Anthony Okolo, the INM’s National Coordinator, “If our elected government officials presiding over our people all over Ala’Igbo are true leaders, this “Aka Enwe” would never have evolved into the human hands on triggers threatening and killing innocent Igbo sons and daughters in their own homeland today.
Commercial banks in Umuahia, Abia State’s capital, and Aba, the state’s commercial nerve center, removed the national flag from their premises over the weekend.
The removal came after IPOB issued a warning that it does not want to see the national flag anywhere in the Southeast.
Yesterday, a bank official told reporters that they were monitoring the situation to determine whether or not to lower the flags today.