Residents in the South east region are scrambling to stockpile food items such as gas, petrol and others needed to survive following the sit-at-home directive by the by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to mark Nnamdi Kanu’s appearance in court next week.
The panic buying is further worsened by reports in the social media calling on people to buy food and other essential items to last for four days from Monday to Thursday.
There is however still uncertainty over the duration of the order; while the Spokeman of IPOB, Mr Emma Powerful, has said that the proscribed group will observe a one day sit-at-home on January 18, there is a counter claim by some members of IPOB that the sit-at-home would linger for four days.
IPOB said in a statement on Saturday that January 19, the day of the judgment in the suit filed by Kanu against the Federal Government at the High Court, Umuahia, would was not part of the sit-at-home.
Our correspondent observed that in spite of the assurances by IPOB that the sit-at-home would only take place on January 18, the residents are wary of the inconsistency in the group’s decision on suspending the harrowing sit-at-home exercise which paralyses economic activities in the region.
The controversial sit-at-home directive has taken a huge toll on the South Eastern States leading to loss of lives during clashes between the group and security agencies.
Since the arrest and commencement of the trial of the IPOB leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the South East has lost billions of Naira to the recurrent closure of markets, malls, filling stations and indeed all business activities cross the region.
Emma Powerful explained that the group would not extend the sit-at-home beyond January 18, to avoid subjecting the people to needless suffering and trauma
” Following our Leader’s upcoming court proceedings on the 18th, 19th and 20th of January 2022 next week, we wish to remind Biafrans that there will only be a sit -at-home on 18th of January, and not 19th and 20th of January. In keeping with our avowed solidarity with our Leader, the entire Biafra land will be on lock down only on January 18 for obvious reasons.
“Biafrans should understand that 19th January is the judgment day in the suit by our Leader against the Federal Government which is pending before an Umuahia High Court. So, there will be no sit-at-home on that day.”
“Again, we don’t want to compound the pains of our people, hence, we will limit the sit-at-home to only January 18. Biafrans and residents of Biafra are free to go about their businesses without molestations on 19th and 20th January. Anybody found enforcing non-existent Monday sit-at-home on 17th, 19th and 20th is a criminal and must be treated as such, IPOB leadership have given order and that order is what is signed.”
There was a glimmer of hope that President Buhari might accept a political solution to the Nnamdi Kanu’s trial after the outcome of a meeting with leaders of the South East who pleaded for the unconditional release of the IPOB leader.
However, the hope was dimmed when the President said during a live interview that Kanu was already facing trial for treasonable felony, terrorism and related charges and should be allowed to run the course of justice.