The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) says the claims by the Nigerian military that they put an end to South-East’s Monday sit-at-home order are nothing but lies.
Chief of Army Staff, Taoreed Lagbaja, had claimed early this month that sit-at-home order enforced by IPOB was ended as a result of the heightened efforts of his men and collaboration with relevant stakeholders.
He had said, “We have equally heightened our efforts in containing criminalities perpetrated in the South East Region by the Indigenous People of Biafra and Eastern Security Network. Through Operation Udo Ka, our troops have, in collaboration with other relevant stakeholders, put an end to the infamous sit-at-home order that has almost crippled socio-economic activities in the Region.”
IPOB had declared sit-at-home in August 2021 to demand the release of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, from illegal detention at facility of the Department of State Services (DSS).
Later IPOB called off the sit-at-home following sustained outcry from the elders and Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide.
However, reacting to the Chief of Army Staff claim, IPOB in statement on Friday, described the claim as laughable.
The pro-Biafra group while replying the military over the claim said that it was the directive of Kanu to Simon Ekpa, IPOB’s factional leader and his group that stopped the exercise “before Nigeria government agents claiming to be working for IPoB hijacked it.”
Emma Powerful, IPOB’s Media and Publicity Secretary, in a statement titled, “The public should ignore Nigeria Military claim of stopping Monday sit-at-home order in South East”’ said that while the Monday sit-at-home lasted in South East, the military and the Police were nowhere to be found to provide security even when they continuously cried out for help.
He said it was the Igbo leaders’ outcry that got the attention of Kanu who then ordered Ekpa and his group to stop it.
“The attention of the global movement and family of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPoB, has been drawn to the laughable, disgraceful and a statement that does not hold waters, credited to the Nigeria government and its compromised security agencies, particularly the military that they stopped Monday sit-at-home order in the south East Region.
“We therefore, request the general public to ignore the military and other security agencies. The claims of the Nigeria military of being responsible for stopping the infamous sit-at-homes is laughable and criminal.
“As much as the sit-at-home was an IPoB brainchild and a powerful strategy of IPoB before the Nigeria government agents hijacked and abused it, it’s ending was as a result of proactive actions and strategy by IPoB and our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. IPoB and Mazi Nnamdi Kanu printed fliers, posters, and banners informing our people that sit-at-home was over and had been over.
“It is on record that IPoB discontinued Monday’s weekly sit-at-home after its first successful observation and our peoples’ voluntary compliance before Nigeria government agents claiming to be working for IPoB hijacked it and used it to commit crimes.
“Where were the Nigerian military and police when the people of South East were molested, intimidated and killed by hoodlums enforcing IPoB cancelled Monday weekly sit-at-home? They were all hiding in their barracks on Mondays while the sit-at-home lasted until our leader’s instruction that it must be stopped forthwith in Igbo land.
“Where was Nigerian government that felt it’s continuation was a weapon to deal with the South East and should not be stopped? Both the immediate past and present Nigerian governments wanted it to continue because they believed it was against the Igbo economy and therefore should not stop and they actually did nothing to stop it. Why didn’t the government, the military and the police provide protection to people who dared to come out on the road and streets during the exercise?
“The Nigeria military must stop telling lies that they stopped sit-at-home, they never did. They were rather hiding in their barracks while it lasted. IPoB and Mazi Nnamdi Kanu stopped sit-at-home. Nigeria military had no capacity to stop the Monday sit-at-home in Biafraland,” the statement read.