Enyinnaya Abaribe, senate minority leader, says “hoodlums” have hijacked the sit-at-home protest of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
On August 9, IPOB announced the enforcement of a lockdown every Monday in the south-east until Nnamdi Kanu, its leader, is released.
The group later announced the suspension of the order and modified it to whenever Kanu appears in court. However, many residents of the region still obey the order despite its suspension.
Violent attacks have been unleashed on those who disobey the order.
TheCable had reported how gunmen harassed students of Comprehensive Secondary School, Nkume in Njaba LGA of Imo state. The students were taking the 2021 West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
A day after, gunmen killed Emeka Merenu, a priest of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, in Iheteukwa, Orsu LGA of Imo state.
These developments spurred criticism against IPOB’s sit-at-home protest by prominent actors in the south-east.
Peter Obi, former governor of Anambra, on Tuesday, claimed “other forces might be hiding behind” IPOB lockdown orders to hurt the region.
Adding his voice to the commentary on the proscribed group’s sit-at-home protest, Abaribe, in a chat with Arise TV on Friday, said the tactic is “detrimental to our welfare and the economy in the south-east”.
“First of all, IPOB, on its own, said there should be no more sit-at-home, and people should go about their legitimate businesses. Yet there were some people who attacked those going about their business, saying that there should be a lockdown. Meaning that nobody now knows who was enforcing what. And why we felt that those who are enforcing it couldn’t have been those who said no more sit-at-home; it must have been some elements that we do not know,” Abaribe said.
“And we actually suggested that both the governor and the security agencies work hand in hand to fish out those who are doing this because this is detrimental to our welfare and the economy of the south-east.
“I think that’s why a lot of people felt that these were not people who cared for their people. These are hoodlums who are cashing in on this to do whatever they want to do.”