The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), yesterday, announced Tuesday September 13 sit-at-home day, and total lockdown in the South East and South South regions.
It stated in a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, that the civil action was necessary because its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, is billed to appear in court on that day to continue his trial, while President Muhammadu Buhari would be visiting Imo State.
Kanu has been in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) since last year.
Powerful who said that the court case was earlier slated for October 11, but was brought forward to September 13, added that the call for a sit-at-home “is to demonstrate our solidarity with our leader who is bearing our yoke in detention for over a year now.”
He added: “IPOB never issued a new directive to Biafrans, but is simply implementing an existing order to lock down Biafra Land any day that the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra will appear in court at Abuja.
“It was based on such agreement with our leader that informed the suspension of the initial Mondays sit-at-home declared by IPOB leadership, in August of 2021. It is imperative that our people understand this and go about their daily work and businesses on Monday and get prepared for Tuesday, September 13, 2022, because Biafra Land will be locked down completely.”
The statement added that the sit at home would be observed against the planned visit of President Mohammadu Buhari to Owerri, the Imo State capital on that day.
Buhari is billed to visit Imo State on September 13 for the commissioning of projects executed by Governor Hope Uzodimma.
IPOB said it would be an insult to the people to receive him in Imo State on that day when several innocent Imo youths had allegedly been murdered by the government’s security operatives.
“We must warn women group, clergymen and women, traditional rulers, and others who may be contemplating going to Owerri, on Tuesday to join in this dance of shame being planned, to advise themselves properly, or be ready to contend with the spirit of our ancestors, our heroes and heroines and the spirit that owns and guards Biafra Land.
“ If you are in support of Buhari detaining the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, then go to Owerri on Tuesday the 13th day of September and welcome him.
“IPOB wants to remind all of you that have sold your conscience and are contemplating joining our enemies to come and mock our people and further desecrate our land that as IPOB ensured that Hope Uzodinma did not set his foot in the UK, so we shall ensure that you will not set your cursed feet in your village or town again if you are found among the clowns in that Owerri circus,” the group warned.
But the Imo State government, in a swift reaction, dismissed the sit-at-home order and asked Imo residents not to come out to welcome Buhari, on Tuesday, September 13.
Briefing newsmen, yesterday, in Owerri, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, who informed that the president would arrive at the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, Owerri, warned that nobody should obstruct the movement of the people.
Emelumba, said: “Nobody can threaten the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Security is guaranteed during his visit… I can tell you that. There can be no threat.”
He disclosed that the president would inaugurate the 35-kilometre Owerri-Orlu Road, the first phase of the 48-kilometre-Owerri-Okigwe Road, and the renovated Imo House of Assembly Complex located at New Owerri.