The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has replied to a claim that soldiers of the Nigerian military were responsible for stopping the Monday sit-at-home exercise in the Southeast region of the country.
Two weeks ago, Naija News reported that the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, confirmed the end of the sit-at-home order enforced by IPOB across the region.
The Army chief said the Monday routine exercise, which lasted about two years, was ended by heightened efforts of his men and collaboration with relevant stakeholders.
The COAS, at the combined second and third quarters conference in Abuja, had said, “We have equally heightened our efforts in containing criminalities perpetrated in the South East Region by the Indigenous People of Biafra and Eastern Security Network. Through Operation Udo Ka, our troops have, in collaboration with other relevant stakeholders, put an end to the infamous sit-at-home order that has almost crippled socio-economic activities in the Region.
“Law-abiding citizens of the Region now go about their businesses and everyday life. Similarly, our joint efforts with various government agencies have quelled attempts by criminals to disrupt economic activities in the South West Region.”
Reacting to the claim, the separatist group, in a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, entitled, “The public should ignore Nigeria Military claim of stopping Monday sit-at-home order in South East”, said the claim by the COAS of ending the sit at home exercise held no water.
IPOB said it was its leader, Nnamdi Kanu’s instruction to Simon Ekpa and his group, who were still observing the sit-at-home that brought an end to the routine exercise.
The group mocked men of the Nigerian Army, saying personnel were always hiding in their barracks on Mondays while the exercise lasted.
It added, “We, therefore, request the general public to ignore the military and other security agencies. The claims of the Nigerian military of being responsible for stopping the infamous sit-at-homes are laughable and criminal.
“As much as the sit-at-home was an IPOB brainchild and a powerful strategy of IPOB before the Nigeria government agents hijacked and abused it, its ending was as a result of proactive actions and strategy by IPOB and our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
“IPOB and Mazi Nnamdi Kanu printed flyers, posters, and banners informing our people that sit-at-home is over and had been over. It is on record that IPOB discontinued Monday’s weekly sit-at-home after its first successful observation and our people’s voluntary compliance before Nigerian government agents claiming to be working for IPOB hijacked it and used it to commit crimes.
“Where were the Nigerian military and police when the people of South East were molested, intimidated and killed by hoodlums enforcing IPoB cancelled Monday weekly sit-at-home? They were all hiding in their barracks on Mondays while the sit-at-home lasted until our leader’s instruction that it must stop forthwith in Igbo land.
“The Nigerian military must stop telling lies that they stopped sit-at-home, they never did, they were rather hiding in their barracks while it lasted. IPoB and Mazi Nnamdi Kanu stopped sit-at-home. Nigeria’s military has no capacity to stop the infamous Monday sit-at-home in Biafraland.”
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