When the indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB) struggled to distance themselves from the aftermath of the sit-at-home protest in the southeast on Monday, the exercise repeated yesterday became bloody.
Yesterday Sit-at-Home was convened by IPOB to commemorate the invasion of security forces in the home of their leader Nnamdi Kanu in Afara, Umuahia, Abia state in 2017.
The event went awry when unidentified armed men entered invaded the rectory of an Anglican priest and killed Rev. Emeka Merenu in Ihiteukwa, Orsu Council of Imo State. The Guardian found that after killing the priest, the attackers also burned his car.
Nkwere constituency member Obinna Okwara confirmed the incident on a phone call and said the priest was due to one Unfounded accusation that he had used military personnel to safeguard his church and high school.
A member of the Church, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “The murder is a tragedy and a very sad one for the entire Anglican community. With this ugly incident, everyone is now afraid and uncertain about our safety in this state.
“The Reverend was a solid moral teacher and academic. In fact, he was the current principal’s runner-up when they searched for the principal director of St. Augustine’s Grammar School in Nkwerre, Imo state.
At the time of filing this report, Church leaders had none official statement made about the incident. State police spokesman Micheal Abattam confirmed the incident. He said, “The investigation has begun.”
In almost complete obedience to the sitting at home order, residents of Imo’s 27 councilors stayed indoors. Markets in Ekeukwu, Douglas, Relief, Alaba, Wethdral, Okigwe Roads, Ama JK, schools, banks and other establishments have closed.
Some ugly incidents have also been recorded in several other southeastern states. In Enugu, a bread-distributing bus and two tricycles were set on fire by gangsters enforcing the sit-at-home regulation.
The Chimex bread factory bus was distributing bread to shops and retail outlets in the Orie area Emene Market, Enugu East Council in the morning. While the driver escaped by the whiskers, the bus loaded with loaves of bread was ransacked and set on fire.
Sources said it required the intervention of the military, who sporadically fired in the air to help out for the gangsters shoot to clear the area.
Similarly, two tricycles popularly known as Keke were vandalized in the area. While one was set on fire at the PRODA intersection, the other was destroyed just outside Coal City University on Emene Street, Enugu, which leads to Abakaliki.
RESIDENTS in Anambra state stopped by the sit-at-home as they stayed indoors while ignoring Governor Willie Obianos orders to resume full economic activity in the state. Vehicle traffic was low and car parks closed while few Shops and markets were opened. The Eke market was also sparse as people hurriedly bought groceries and left for fear of harassment.
In Onitsha, economic and social activity remained on the ground, as markets, shops, craft shops, offices, and banks other business premises all remained under lock and key.
In response, Chief Ifeanyichukwu Eke accused the governors of the Southeast of being complacent about encouraging the return of business in the region. He wondered what the Ebubeagu security team, set up by governors in the area, was doing.
In addition, an Awka businessman, Nze Golden Muhfor, advised the governors of the Southeast to step down from their high positions, sitting in an enclosed space and having a meeting in Igbo with the agitators to restore peace to Igbo country.
However, local residents began to question the reasons for the seemingly trivialization of sitting at home place. A political analyst, Joseph Onu, urged the IPOB leadership to “retrace their steps in their frequent home sitting arrangements,” stressing “that one day people might rise up against them, and that will bring the struggle to an end “.
Onu stated that a struggle that was normally” supposed to bring relief to residents is now being used to create difficulties “and warned that” there is a limit to which you can die. ” Taking people for granted “. . “
Meanwhile, IPOB has urged residents of the southeastern states to ignore the Monday sit-at-home from now on. The group, who explained this in a statement from their spokesperson Emma Powerful, insisted they had long suspended the weekly order because of its economic impact on people.
Powerful also warned that anyone caught becomes how he gets people to adhere to the “supposedly nonexistent sit-at-home order”, treated as a traitor and enemy of the people and “must be treated”. “
He added,” We, the global family of IPOB, would like to reiterate that we will not have any other sit-at-home orders after September 14th, after the weekly sit-at-home Mondays, does not exist in the IPOB diary. In fact, there won’t be another sit-at-home this week after September 14th. Any messages to the contrary or speculation to the contrary should be ignored. ”
In a similar development, IPOB reported the attack by people suspected of being members of the group on the Okporo Secondary School on the local council on Monday Condemned by Imo by Njaba. Those still to be identified had scattered students taking their WAEC exams and had their supervisors’ motorbikes set on fire.
IPOB described the attack as barbaric, hideous and stupid and vowed to be ruthless with those behind it.
“In this sense, IPOB strongly condemns the barbaric act of gangsters and mentally handicapped boys who disrupted a WAEC exam in a school in Imo on Monday. What stupid madness! Whoever is behind this barbarism has to pay for his deeds.
“The IPOB leadership hereby promises to replace the motorcycles burned in the school by their owners and on behalf of ESN and IPOB volunteers Rebuilding villains that have burned school blocks.
“This is not intended to portray or imply that IPOB committed the heinous crimes against our people. We promise to establish a task force to checkmate those who flaunt themselves as IPOB volunteers and those who commit this crime against humanity and our people. We ask Biafrans to carry with us this insidious act against humanity with which they demonize IPOB in the world. “
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has urged the Igbo people to Blame the governors and security forces of the Southeast for the ongoing violence following the enforcement of sit-at-home orders, which IPOB has since condemned.
HURIWA urged Nigerians to be vigilant and rational and never be tempted to accept the lies of the security forces against IPOB.
HURIWA said in a statement made yesterday in Abuja by its national coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, that it is becoming increasingly clear that Certain forces working against the region’s economic progress, behind the continued use of brutal violence, are unleashed against innocent Igbo citizens under the guise of enforcing the sit-at-home.