The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has declared a compulsory sit-at-home in the Southeast Geopolitical Zone every Monday, starting from August 9, until the Federal Government releases their leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, from detention.
This obvious act of solidarity is however an ill wind that will blow the state no good because, every sit-at-home exercise, with the benefit of hindsight, has had the propensity to cripple economic and commercial activities anywhere it takes place.
It also creates an avenue for dubious characters to loot public and private property, being that such characters usually hijack such exercises.
While we are in a democratic dispensation where anyone or group can take certain actions within lawful limits, yet, some of these actions can still infringe on the rights of others. This is why it is not acceptable for non-state actors to take decisions for the generality of the populace without their consent.
Directing no movement in the Southeast every Monday from the 9th of August until Kanu is released is one of such decisions that will infringe on the rights of fellow citizens. It is made worse by the threats associated with it. Indeed, the members of IPOB have threatened to ”deal” with anyone that contravenes their sit-at-home directive.
This is something that could easily lead to a breakdown of law and order when compliance is forcefully enforced. Even the government does not order a total lockdown as seen during the thick of the COVID-19 restrictions. Essential workers were still allowed to perform their duties. Thus, for non-state actors to call for a total shut down is not only improper, but is fraught with danger, given what may play out.
It will be better, therefore, for the IPOB group to come together and chart a way forward with the government than issuing threats to innocent citizens.
Both the Anambra State Government and the State Police Command have assured citizens of their safety, but given the expected resistance by IPOB, things can easily get out of hand. This is why IPOB should soften their stance on enforcing compliance, especially when any untoward happening will only affect the people of the Southeast Zone; a development that makes no sense.
We hereby call on the Indigenous People of Biafra to do things that will protect Igbo Land, rather than otherwise, in the name of solidarity for Nnamdi Kanu. We cannot destroy our land in trying to make our grievances known.
For the state government, this is the time to handle this issue maturely and ensure the safety of those who wish to go about their lawful business.
Enforcing a sit-at-home order every Monday simply means crippling economic and commercial activities in the east, a development that will not in any way affect Abuja. And if it does not affect the seat of power in Abuja, of what use will it be?
It is therefore a very unwise decision that needs to be revisited. Fighting a war on one’s turf only makes matters worse. It will not solve any problems whatsoever.