Major General Taoreed Lagbaja, the Chief of Army Staff, has issued instructions to Nigerian Army troops to take control of areas where Simon Ekpa, a self-proclaimed follower of Nnamdi Kanu, the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has imposed a sit-at-home order in the South-East region.
Lagbaja’s directive came in response to an announcement by Ekpa, based in Finland, who called for a two-week sit-at-home protest beginning on Monday, July 31. Ekpa stated that the purpose of the protest was to demand the immediate and unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu and to advance the cause of Biafra’s freedom. He warned of severe consequences for those who disobeyed the sit-at-home order.
The Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Aderemi Adeoye, reassured the public that the state police command would continue to provide security for people who wished to conduct their daily activities without hindrance. He emphasized that the police had no concern for individuals who preferred to stay at home instead of working to earn a living.
Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, the Director of Army Public Relations, declared Ekpa’s announcement unlawful and stated that it would not be tolerated. He disclosed that the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, in collaboration with other security agencies, had been directed to conduct extensive patrols, secure volatile areas, and ensure the freedom of citizens to engage in lawful activities.
Nwachukwu condemned IPOB’s renewed threat to enforce a sit-at-home order in the southeast region, describing it as a violation of the fundamental rights of the people in that area and thus illegal.
He reiterated the Chief of Army Staff’s directives to the 82 Division to intensify patrols, deter flash points, and guarantee that individuals can freely pursue their legitimate businesses. He urged residents of the South-East to disregard the sit-at-home order and instead support the security forces in their efforts to counter IPOB.
“We urge the law-abiding and industrious people of the South-East to reject any form of coercion or threats aimed at unlawfully confining them to their homes. We encourage them to collaborate with the security operatives in resisting this illegitimate act perpetrated by IPOB,” Nwachukwu concluded.
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