IPOB Must Not Enforce Sit-at-home On Residents – Abia Government Warns

The Abia State Government has kicked against the move by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra to enforce a sit-at-home order in the state.

The state government said no one must be coerced into obeying the sit-at-home order. 

Last week, IPOB announced a total lockdown of social and economic activities every Monday starting from August 9 in the South-East region of the country.

According to the group, the sit-at-home protest would be observed weekly to demand the freedom of its incarcerated leader, Nnamdi Kanu who has been in the custody of the Department of State Services for over a month.

But in its reaction, the state stated that it would not fold its hands and watch as people are forced against their wish or children stopped from going to schools.

The state government also declared that it is actively monitoring the situation with the IPOB leader. 

The embattled secessionist leader hails from Afaraukwu, a community in Umuahia, the capital of Abia State.

The state government also vowed to ensure that Kanu’s fundamental human rights be respected in the ongoing trial at a Federal High Court in Abuja.

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In a statement signed by Chief John Okiyi Kalu, the Commissioner for Information of the state, the Abia government said it remained in touch with “his family members, other relevant persons and institutions, and receive regular updates through them on the situation.”

“The Abia State Government is confident that the judiciary will ensure a free and manifestly fair trial for him and others as they remain innocent until proven guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction,” the statement said.

“We, therefore, wish to call on all citizens and visitors to continue to be law abiding and avoid any act that might lead to a breakdown of law and order.

“While the government will not compel anyone wishing to sit at home for any reason whatsoever not to do so, we wish to strongly advise that nobody should also compel or enforce any sit-at-home order from any non-state actor as doing so does not serve any known interests of the people of the state. 

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“Furthermore, compelling our children to stay away from schools can only serve the interests of the yet-to-be properly identified persons who may not want to see us make progress as a people. 

“Similarly, our traders sitting at home at a time they need to work very hard to sustain their families and create wealth especially in this era of COVID-19 impacted global economy will obviously not serve any development interest of our hardworking citizens.

“All law abiding citizens and visitors are therefore called upon to go about their normal businesses without fear of molestation as adequate security has been provided to ensure their safety.

“Parents and guardians are also called upon to ensure that they monitor the activities of their children and wards with a view to ensuring that they do not engage in unlawful activities that will put them in harm’s way,” the statement read.

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