Ike Nnachi, Abakaliki
Parents of different Unity Schools in Ebonyi State have demanded for the immediate closure of the schools following the threat by some unknown separatists to shut down the South-East for 5 days.
The parents who trooped to the schools in the early hours of today (Tuesday) demanded that their wards be released to them on or before Thursday this week before the commencement of the said sit-at-home order which the unknown group announced will start on Friday.
A parent, Mrs. Grace Ofor said: “we are here to demand for the release of our children. They have finished their exams and I don’t see the reason of still keeping them here. Unknown gunmen announced that they will shut down the South-East from Friday this week till Wednesday next week and nobody knows how long it will last, so we urge them to let our kids go.”
“It’s unfortunate that since the viral video of the sit-at-home order and the heavy threat that followed it, not even the security leadership in the state or the State Government has issued a counter directive assuring us of the safety of our children and wards, so we are here to demand for the closure of the school,” she said.
Following the order, the Catholic Bishop of Abakaliki on Monday directed that Holy Rosary School in the state be closed on Thursday and the students vacate the school.
Similarly, many ceremonies including burials, wedding ceremonies and other social activities in the state have been put on hold by the organisers.
Meanwhile, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) have distanced itself from the five days shutdown of the Southeast.
The spokesperson of the group, Emma Powerful, stated this in a statement he issued on Tuesday.
Mr Powerful who described the order as stupid urged the people of the zone to ignore the order.
He noted that IPOB Leadership did not issue the order which he said is the handiwork of jobless and senseless miscreants.
He said: “The global family and movement of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) under the command and leadership of our great prophet and indefatigable liberator, Mazi Nnamdi Okwuchukwu Kanu, wish to state unequivocally to the people of Biafra, friends of Biafra, and lovers of Biafra freedom that IPOB leadership did not issue any sit-at-home order on 9th,10th, 11th, 12th, 13th or 14th of December 2022.
“IPOB never issued any sit-at-home order on these days mentioned above because we are not miscreants, senseless, or jobless people.
“Every Biafran and residents in Biafra Land should ignore such order from untrained and brainless individuals whose agenda is to make Biafra agitation unattractive to our people. Every Biafran must go to their normal business on those days,” he said.
Mr Powerful said IPOB which is concerned about the plight of the people cannot issue such brainless and uncaring 5-day consecutive sit-at-home order to suffer the people during this critical time of the year when people are trying to make up in their businesses for the year.
He also said the people of the region are free to go and collect their permanent voters card (PVC).
“The conception of consecutive 5-day sit-at-home by a Nigeria Agent and his sponsors is to show the level of wickedness and hatred they have against our people.
“Their agenda is to create insecurity and unnecessary hardships to make our people jettison Biafra freedom. How wicked.
“Again, every one has his or her rights to go and collect his or her PVC from their polling and registration centre without molestation. IPOB never boycott election and has nothing to do with Nigeria shambolic elections.
“Our people should be prepared and ready to confront any fool who dares to enforce such wicked sit-at-home. More so, ESN operatives and IPOB volunteers will be out on these dates to protect our people and the markets.
“Biafran youths should also be ready to confront anybody who comes to force them to close their businesses on these days.
“The idiots who are issuing this brazen sit-at-home order should know that IPOB leadership has never authorized anyone to issue order of such magnitude in Biafra land, therefore, it will not work out for them.
“Our people should go to their businesses without fear. IPOB has put the propagandists and their foot-soldiers in Biafra land on check.
“Biafra restoration is moving well and we must exit this cage called Nigeria by the grace of Elohim,” Powerful said.