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Igbo in diaspora meet over sit-at-home

From Chima Okafor, Enugu

People of South East extraction living in Finland would be meeting tomorrow to deliberate on the unending sit-at-home orders in the region and the consequences of such orders.

A splinter group purporting to be Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has been issuing sit-at-home orders, unleashing violence on those that disobeyed the directives.

The group, led by Simon Ekpa, recently in a viral video, ordered the people of the South-East to observe a sit-at-home from December 9th – 14th, 2022. The order was characterised by orgy of killings and destruction of property in the region by those purportedly enforcing it.

Not even an attempt to dispel the order by the mainstream IPOB, through its spokesman, Emma Powerful, could save the situation as violence had been the order of the day in the region.

The development led angry Nigerians to commence signing a petition seeking Ekpa’s arrest.

On Tuesday, the detained IPOB leader, condemned the attacks. Kanu’s special counsel, Aloy Ejimakor, who visited the detained IPOB leader in DSS detention on Monday, said Kanu expressed his sadness over the attacks and sympathy for the victims.

Similarly, Kanu’s younger brother, Emmanuel, also condemned the attacks, saying Ekpa had acted like a “paid agent.”

He said: “There is no doubt he is working for some people because no true-blooded Igbo will do something to jeopardise the lives of his people. The Leader has always said that he cannot take a life because he doesn’t give life. So, why will people take other people’s lives?

“Why will you kill the same people you say you are fighting to protect? It doesn’t make sense. It is just obvious that Ekpa is working for some people to destroy what the Leader has built over the years. Why would he give a sit-at-home order? Under whose authority will he do that?

“My brother (Nnamdi Kanu) told me clearly that he did not authorise any person or group to order for sit-at-home. So, why do that? Who is he doing it to impress? It is only a paid agent that will behave the way he does.”

The Ohanaeze Ndigbo similarly condemned the violence. On Thursday, Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi Umahi also speaking on the issue, added that the splinter group was leading terrorists to destabilise the region.

Addressing stakeholders and party members of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abakaliki, Umahi said that Ebonyi State would not be part of Biafra, even as he lamented the continued killings and destruction of lives and property in the zone.

He said: “When this agitation for Biafra started, I told them that this matter would go beyond Nnamdi Kanu. And today, it has gone beyond Nnamdi Kanu. Every criminal says he is IPOB. Every criminal says he is ESN.

“Is this the Biafra we desired, to be killing ourselves and displacing others? That’s why we said in the heat of that crisis that Ebonyi State can never be part of Biafra. We are not Biafra.

“If Biafra means to kill ourselves, to go to the market and start shooting people that have done nothing, to be declaring sit-at-home in our homeland and destroying the economy, for what reason? These things are strange to our culture.

“They have killed a lot of Ebubeagu people who are trying to protect our people. I ask all the local government people to give us information because we are ready to enter into the forest to flush out these bandits.”

It will be recalled that Ifeanyi Ejiofor, counsel to the detained IPOB leader, sued Ekpa within the week for crime against humanity in the South Eastern part of Nigeria.

Defendants in the suit include: Simon Ekpa, Anibueze Juliet, Obinna Uzoaganaobi, Chukwuemeka Livingstone, and Raphael Ajaere.

The suit marked: CU/788/2022 was filed at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on December 12, 2022.

Meanwhile, an emergency general assembly of Igbo resident in Finland is scheduled for tomorrow (Sunday).This is to enable them as a community to agree on an action plan regarding the havoc being caused in their homelands by the deadly gang purportedly being masterminded from Finland.

A statement by Chairman of Igbo Union Finland, Kingsley Orji told Saturday Sun that the meeting slated for Kilpakuja 1 was very necessary in view of the ongoing carnage in Igbo land.

“We all must have read or be informed of the extent of bloodshed orchestrated by one singular command announcement from Finland. Evidential documents and/or order for action alluding to this indiscriminate bloodbath and destruction of property is our primary focus for discussion. 

“The essence of the meeting is for us as a community to agree on an action plan,” Orji stated.

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