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General News of Sunday, 26 September 2021

Source: punchng.com

Police threaten clampdown as IPOB declares sit-at-home on October 1

Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)

The Ebonyi State Police Command has threatened to deal with any group that foments trouble in the state on October 1, 2021.

Nigeria celebrates its Independence Day annually on October 1.

Ahead of this year’s celebrations to mark Nigeria’s proclamation of independence from British rule on October 1, 1960, the Indigenous People of Biafra, in a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, on Saturday, issued a sit-at-home order in the five South-East states.

The secessionist group also banned the flying of the Nigerian flag in the region on that day.

He said, “IPOB has declared October 1, 2021, total shutdown in Biafraland as a sign of our rejection of the evil construct called Nigeria and there shall be no movement in Biafraland on this day.

“Also, IPOB has declared from September 25, 2021, that all Nigerian flags mounted anywhere in Biafraland must be brought down, banks exceptional. IPOB leadership will communicate to banks directly and give them the reason they must peacefully bring down the Nigeria flag on their banking premises before we do it ourselves in our own way.”

But the state Commissioner of Police, Aliyu Garba, in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents in Abakaliki, on Saturday night, said operatives of the command will not fold their hands and watch a group of persons unleash illegality in the state.

He said, “This portrays illegality and we will not allow it. It is not the norm in our country and it’s unconstitutional. Our job is to maintain law and order so we will not take it lightly with anybody or group of persons who try to disrupt the peace of the state. We will deal with such a person or group of persons.”

According to the police spokesperson in the state, DSP Loveth Odah, the commissioner had rolled down an operational order to men of the command to prevent crimes or illegality in the state during and after the Independence Day celebrations.

She said, “We have been briefed and we are ready to contain every illegal act of any group of persons come October 1. We have already been given operational orders to this effect by the Commissioner of Police and we will not tolerate any act capable of causing a breach of the peace. On October 1, we will prevent any group from removing the Nigerian flag in the state.”

Meanwhile, IPOB has urged residents in the South-East states to celebrate Ambazonia’s 4th independence anniversary on October 1, 2021.

Ambazonia, also known as Ambaland, is a secessionist, self-declared nation in Cameroon, comprising the English speaking North-West and South-West Region of Cameroon.

The two separatist groups formed an alliance in 2020 to drive their push for self-determination from the two West African neighbours.

The statement read in part, “In line with the Memorandum of Understanding and alliance between Ambazonia and Biafra nations, we wish to ask Biafrans to support and celebrate Ambazonia’s Independence anniversary on October 1, 2021. We advise Biafrans to stand with the Ambazonian people as they celebrate their God-given freedom and independence.”

IPOB’s sit-at-home observed every Monday has grounded socio-economic activities in the South-East states namely Ebonyi, Imo, Anambra, Enugu and Abia with many residents abiding by the order. Despite the governors’ assurances to the people to ignore the order and go about their normal business on Mondays, they continued to obey it even when IPOB suspended the order.

The group announced the order in the region to protest the Federal Government’s prosecution of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, for offences bordering on treasonable felony. Kanu is advocating Igbo Nation. After announcing the suspension of the sit-home which the people didn’t obey perhaps in solidarity or for fear of attack, IPOB noted that the order would be observed only on the days Kanu would appear in court. It also threatened a one-month sit-at-home protest in the region if Kanu was not brought to court on October 2, 2021.

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