Enugu State residents Thursday partially observed the sit at home order by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to protest and mark its “holy day” in deference to those that have lost their lives to the struggle.
IPOB is pushing for an independent state for the Igbo-dominated southeastern Nigeria.
The region was locked in a civil war with Nigeria for about 30 months starting from 1967 after late Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, then a colonel in the Nigerian Army, declared an independent Biafra.
But the fight for Biafra hasn’t ceased to exist as the campaigners for the new country formed a group known as IPOB led by Nnamdi Kanu.
Kanu who fled the country in 2017 is facing charges of treasonable felony at the Federal High Court in Abuja. He has consistently accused the Nigerian government of deliberately marginalising the Igbos.
Last October, he claimed the Nigerian government was deceitful. He said the government spurned the demands he made after he was released from prison over a year ago.
“I told them, that I want them to open Igweocha seaport, Port Harcourt,” Nnamdi Kanu, who leads the Indigenous People of Biafra, said in a message posted to Radio Biafra’s Facebook page on Sunday.
“I ask them to open Calabar seaport and Warri Seaport, I did this in writing and gave it to them, I told them to dredge River Niger, allow the direct international flight to Europe and USA from Enugu, Igweocha and Calabar airport.”
IPOB spokesman Emmanuel Powerful said the sit-at-home order is to ensure the “inevitability of Biafra restoration”.
“This is a clear demonstration to all oppressors, collaborators and traitors alike that no amount of intimidation, abductions, arrests, killings and concocted lies will stop this IPOB,” Powerful said in a statement.
But a police boss in one of the southeastern said insisted the separatist group has no right to order anyone to stay at home.
“It will be an affront for anybody or group of persons to want to stop people from work or do their business,” Enugu State Commissioner of Police Suleiman Balarabe said.