The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has cancelled its planned sit-at-home order in the South-East region.
This was announced in a statement issued by Emma Powerful, its Director of Media and Publicity, on Thursday.
The proscribed group had planned to lock down the region for a week, beginning from November 5 to 10, to protest the detention of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
According to the group, the sit-at-home order has been cancelled to allow people in Anambra to participate in the governorship election on Saturday.
The statement read: “Following the genuine intervention of our elders, esteemed traditional Institutions/Rulers and Religious Leaders, and after a due consideration of the positive impacts of their engagement, and sequel to the fact that our elders have spoken in our terms, the Leadership of IPOB ably lead by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu hereby and immediately call off the one week sit-at-home earlier declared to commence tomorrow, November 5 to November 10, 2021.
“We have equally considered several appeals by our mothers who earn their living based on their daily economic activities which will obviously be affected if Biafra land is locked down for one whole week. It’s never our intention to add to the pains of our people, hence our decision to suspend the sit-at-home.
“IPOB leadership is only interested in our referendum and peaceful agitation for self determination, and cannot by under any guise be seen to be interfering with any electoral process.
“The people of Anambra State should go out en masse and peacefully exercise their franchise come 6th November 20121 and accordingly, chose a leader of their Choice and should not be intimidated by anybody, group of persons or security agents.”
The group also warned supporters against attacking voters in Anambra under the guise of enforcing the suspended sit-at-home directive.
It, however, said it remains committed to the agitation for secession.
“May we, therefore, warn detractors, traitors and enemies of Biafra not to cause confusion by imputing motives to our decision. IPOB doesn’t expect anybody to observe, monitor or enforce the suspended order, otherwise such action will be considered a rebellion to the highest leadership of our global movement.
“On the other hand, our oppressors should not take our decision as an act of cowardice. IPOB still believes that our elders, religious leaders, political leaders and various stakeholders will live up to their promises in their engagements and efforts towards securing the unconditional release of our leader.”
Meanwhile, as part of measures to ensure peaceful conduct of the Anambra governorship election on Saturday, the candidates and chairmen of 17 political parties participating in the exercise have signed a peace pact.
The candidates signed the peace pact at an event organised by the National Peace Committee, led by the former military head of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd.), in Akwa, the Anambra State capital, on Thursday.
The candidates that signed the pact include that of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo; the Peoples Democratic Party, Valentine Ozigbo; and the All Progressives Congress, Andy Uba.
Abubukar told the governorship candidates that the accord “is not a mere exercise but a clarion call for stakeholders to commit themselves to a peaceful electoral process”.
He said: “We, members of the National Peace Committee have come to Anambra State to support a peaceful electoral process. We cherish Anambra State, and we cherish the peace and unity of Nigeria. Most importantly, we want to contribute our own quota to see that the governorship election in Anambra State is devoid of violence.
“We call on candidates, their parties and supporters to accept the outcome of the vote as long as it is judged to be free, fair and credible. In the letter and spirit of the accord, any aggrieved party should not resort to violence, but follow a judicial process.”