Thursday’s sit-at-home order by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to protest President Muhammadu Buhari’s plan to visit Imo State is causing ripples.
The Director of State (DOS), IPOB, Chika Edozien, had in last Monday’s broadcast on Radio Biafra, declared that the President “is not welcome to Imo on Thursday, September 9, 2021.”
He warned leaders and every Igbo citizen to stay away from any ceremony organised by Governor Hope Uzodimma to welcome Buhari.
In addition, he stated that there would be “total lockdown of Biafraland” tomorrow. The stay-away order during Buhari’s Imo visit, is threatening the chances of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State.
APC chieftain, who pleaded anonymity, expressed fear of a possible sit-at-home order during the party’s campaigns.
Imo Government, yesterday, sealed some new generation banks in the capital city for allegedly obeying the sit-at-home order by IPOB in the South East.
The development caused hundreds of bank customers to be stranded. It is noteworthy that IPOB had relaxed the order, which, it reasoned, would hurt the economy of the region. Instead of observing the order every Monday, the pro-Biafra group said the sit-at-home should be any day its detained leader, Nnamdi Kanu, would go to court.
Of the financial institutions on Bank Road, Owerri, The Guardian gathered that only one was allowed to operate. Officials of Owerri Capital Development Authority (OCDA) used ribbons to seal some of the affected banks as early as 7:00a.m.
With the development, there are indications that the state may be locked down by traders and transporters when President Muhammadu Buhari visits tomorrow.
Already, the face-off between the government and petroleum tanker drivers has pushed transport fares up to about 100 per cent.
Efforts to reach the General Manager of OCDA, Innocent Ikpamezie, to react on the development proved abortive, as he did not respond to multiple calls put through his phone.
But the Chief Press Secretary (CPS)/Media Adviser to the Governor, Oguwike Nwachuku, said the action has nothing to do with IPOB and its order.
He said: “It is not true that the sealing had something to do with IPOB. I strongly believe that the banks may be in violation of their obligations to the government, since OCDA was involved.”
Also, a socio-political group, Imolites Collective (IC), has declared that President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to Imo State tomorrow is of great interest to Imo people. The group said President Buhari’s coming “would not only show that the President is interested in the development of Southeast geopolitical zone, but also reveal the level of work done in the areas of infrastructure, peace building and security of life and property by the state government.”
In a statement signed by its President and Secretary, Longinus Duru and Ernest Iroha respectively, which was made available to The Guardian, IC noted that after crisis and violence in the state, it was good to know that the President would be visiting.
The group explained that the President’s visit would help Nigerians to know far peace has returned to the state, stressing that the governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma, has been working quietly behind the scene to ensure the return of peace and progress to the state, especially the Imo heartland, Owerri.
While maintaining that Governor Uzodimma demonstrated political courage and responsibility towards the restoration of peace and security in the state, Imolites Collective declared: “The President’s visit would help Nigerians, especially NdImo to know how far the government has gone in improving dilapidated infrastructure, enhancing social development and boosting commerce and industry.
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