There is tension and fear in the Southeast as the sit-at-home order by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) begins on Monday.
IPOB had announced the sit-at-home order as a measure to push for the release of its incarcerated leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
Kanu is currently in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS), following his rearrest and repatriation from an African country suspected to be Kenya.
The IPOB leader was apprehended for calling for Nigeria’s disintegration and restoration of Biafra.
His rearrest and repatriation to Nigeria has been a subject of intense argument as his followers believed that he was abducted and subjected to extraordinary rendition from Kenya.
Amid his continued detention, IPOB had vowed to shut down the whole of Southeast every Monday until Kanu is released.
But, Kanu’s brother, Kanunta had announced the suspension of the sit-at-home order due to students in the Southeast participating in the National Examination Council, NECO, examination for senior secondary schools.
He had said a new date for the protest would be communicated later.
However, IPOB’s spokesman, Emma Powerful urged Nigerians to disregard the remark by Kanunta.
Powerful warned people of the Southeast against flouting the directive
Frowning at the order, the Anambra State Police Command had vowed to tackle IPOB members who threatened people of the state to comply with the order.
State police commissioner, CP Chris Awolabi who spoke to Daily Post, said his men are working underground to thwart the order.
“If you are in Anambra, you will know what we have been doing. IPOB is a proscribed group, what do you want me to say about them? We are working.
“I do not believe in coming to the media to do my work, but if you are in Anambra, you would have seen what we are doing. We are working on that,” Awolabi said.
Also, the Anambra State Government had warned civil servants in the state against complying with the order.
The state government had warned that civil servants would not be paid their August salary, if they obeyed the sit-at-home directive.
On his part, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State cautioned IPOB against destabilizing the economy, progress, and peace of the state and Southeast.
Umahi ordered security agencies to protect the citizens from any form of molestation.
However, popular rights activist, Deji Adeyanju commended IPOB for the move.
Adeyanju noted that boycotts are one of the effective ways of protest, stressing that Martin Luther King used such measures during their time.
“I commend IPOB for the sit at home order for tomorrow as a protest to demand for the release of Nnamdi Kanu. Boycott is one of the most effective ways of protest. Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement used this means effectively.
“If IPOB goes on the street to protest peacefully, the Army will kill them. They want to sit at home and protest, some of you are still talking rubbish. Are you people mad in this country?,” Adeyanju tweeted.