Igbo Elders Consultative Forum, under the leadership of former Anambra governor, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, has urged South-East residents to ignore the five-day sit-at-home order declared by Finland-based Simon Ekpa.
In a video on Monday, the Nnamdi Kanu’s self-acclaimed disciple had said the sit-at-home would serve as a protest in the South-East against the general elections next year.
The Igbo elders, however, described Ekpa’s order as cruel and insensitive to the plight of the people.
While speaking to newsmen in Abuja on Thursday, Ezeife insisted that it must never be observed nor allowed to stand.
He pointed out that the forum was concerned about ways to restore unity as well as stability in the region and Nigeria in general.
He said: “The Igbo Elders Consultative Forum has always believed that some faceless individuals in government and other unpatriotic elements who do not wish ndi Igbo well, and have been working hard with evil collaborators to truncate the scheduled 2023 general elections in the South East are behind the purported sit-at-home order in the zone.
“The scheduled February, 2023 Presidential election will be historic in Nigeria because we are optimistic that patriotic and progressive Nigerians will elect Mr Peter Obi of the Labour Party as the next President of this country in a free, fair and credible election; hence evil and wicked elements must never be allowed to use the purported sit-at-home order to truncate the next year general election.”
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on Tuesday also distanced itself from the call, in a statement by its spokesperson, Emma Powerful,
The statement read: “The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) under the leadership of Nnamdi Kanu wish to state unequivocally to the people of Biafra, friends of Biafra, and lovers of Biafra freedom that IPOB leadership did not issue any sit-at-home order on 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th or 14th of December 2022.
“IPOB never issued any sit-at-home order on these days mentioned above because we are not miscreants, senseless, or jobless people.
“Every Biafran and resident in Biafra Land should ignore such order from untrained and brainless individuals whose agenda is to make Biafra agitation unattractive to our people. Every Biafran must go to their normal business on those days.
“IPOB who is concerned about our people cannot issue such brainless uncaring 5-day consecutive sit-at-home order to suffer our people during this critical time of the year when people are trying to make up in their businesses for the year.
“Their agenda is to create insecurity and unnecessary hardships to make our people jettison Biafra’s freedom. How wicked!
“Again, everyone has his or her right to go and collect his or her PVC from their polling and registration centres without molestations. IPOB never boycott elections and has nothing to do with Nigerian elections.
“Our people should be prepared and ready to confront any fool who dares to enforce such wicked sit-at-home. Moreso, ESN operatives and IPOB volunteers will be out on these dates to protect our people and the markets.”