• Ignore order, Police tells public
From Petrus Obi, Enugu, Okey Sampson, Aba and Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka
Despite yesterday’s show of force by the army and police in Aba, Abia state, to forestall today’s planned protest by members of the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) and the Uchenna Madu led faction of Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign state of Biafra (MASSOB), residents of the city are jittery over the protest as they engaged in panic buying.
IPOB and MASSOBhad directed its members and residents of Aba and cities in the South east and South south to stay at home while markets and other businesses within the affected states should remain closed in furtherance of their agitation for a Biafran state and the plight of IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu who has been in detention. Leaders of the groups say there is no going back in today’s protest.
In Anambra State, the Police Command yesterday warned members of Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) not to embark on any protest today as it would not condone any act that would cause public disorder.
But MASSOB In a statement made available to the media in Enugu yesterday, said “We shall continue to collaborate and partner with every positive move and steps that will effect the release of our comrades in different prisons and detention camps in Nigeria.
“The call for stay at home which has been our recalling measure and step for effective civil disobedience is totally voluntary, this exercise has always been the life wire of the Biafra struggle.
“The request for closure of markets, public/private motor parks, schools and other public business premises is voluntary, not by force, it is a mark of respect and love for our fatherland.
“As a non violent organisation, Biafrans shall not be compelled or forced to observe the stay at home exercise.
“MASSOB, IPOB and other pro Biafra groups will not molest, compel or intimidate anybody to observe the stay at home exercise as all our members shall stay indoors, there shall be no physical demonstration, street march, procession or any other public function tomorrow in Biafra land.
“The heavy presence of armed Nigeria Army, Mobile police, SSS operatives, Navy, Civil Defence in major cities of Biafraland since yesterday are signs of panic and fear.
“The presence of soldiers across Biafra land will assist immensely and positively for the people to comply with our demands.
Daily Sun observed that in spite of moves by the police, residents in addected towns engaged in panic buying, an indication that they may obey the stay at home order.