Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Monday night, described the fresh two weeks’ sit-at-home order of Mr Simon Ekpa as ‘unacceptable’.
The president general of Ohanaeze, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyawu, stated this in a release he personally signed. According to him, “This is unacceptable and must not be allowed to succeed in Igboland.”
He offered to hold a discussion with Ekpa, the styled prime minister of Biafra Republic Government In-Exile (BRGIE), to understand his grievances. Iwuanyanwu said, “As a father, I hereby request Mr Simon Ekpa and his group for a discussion and an opportunity to air their grievances.”
He regretted that Ekpa had not abided by the order of IPOB leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, which directed an end to sit-at-home in Southeast. Recall that Kanu, through his special counsel, Barr Aloy Ejimakor, last Friday, cancelled all sit-at-home orders with an instruction to Ekpa ‘to desist from declaring further sit-at-home and insulting Southeast leaders’.
In his words, “Kanu, on whose behalf Ekpa claims to be working, has directed the said Simon Ekpa ‘to end all sit-at-home in the Southeast and to stop antagonizing the governors of the Southeast or politicians from the region’.
“It is disturbing that at a time Ohanaeze is engaging the Igbo entrepreneurs all over the world on a think-home philosophy, a foreign based Igbo is bent on destabilizing the home front.”
Chief Iwuanyanwu regretted the hardship Ekpa’s orders had subjected the people of the region to, adding that, “Unfortunately several non-state actors in an attempt to enforce the order have unleashed mayhem on the people. Several people have been killed, maimed and property worth millions of naira have been destroyed.
“The sit-at-home order has been instilling fears and trepidation on the good people of the Southeast, making it difficult for people to come out to transact their lawful businesses. The Southeast is noted for micro, small and medium-scale enterprises, indigenous manufacturing, fabrication and agro-allied industries. Authorities have put the losses encountered by the people of Southeast at trillions of naira on each sit-at-home day.
“The food transporters to the Southeast charge more for a trip to the region because of these sit-at-home orders. Over 250 persons are estimated to have lost their lives through the enforcement of the sit-at-home order.”
He therefore declared that, “The sit-at-home in Igbo-land should be discountenanced. I urge the security operatives to exercise the highest degree of prudence in the discharge of their official duties to avoid further loss of innocent lives in Igbo-land.”
He commended Southeast governors for their efforts to end the order, and sent his condolences to ‘families who have lost loved ones and property during these sad and unfortunate events’.
Ekpa had on July 11 announced that there will be a two-week sit-at-home in the Southeast. He said that the sit-at-home was to demand ‘the immediate and unconditional release of IPOB leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu who remains illegally detained at the DSS dungeon’.
Quoting him, “Followingthe demand by the Biafra people for more sit at home civil disobedience, the Biafra Republic Government In-Exile (BRGIE) and Biafra De Facto Government In Homeland wish to notify Biafrans that there will be a sit-at-home civil disobedience starting from 31 July, 2023 to 14 August, 2023.”