Sit-at-home, tension as Buhari visits Imo today


Today’s sit-at-home order by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to protest President Muhammadu Buhari’s plan to visit Imo State is causing ripples.

The Director of State (DOS), IPOB, Chika Edozien, had in last Monday’s broadcast on Radio Biafra, declared that the President “is not welcome to Imo on Thursday, September 9, 2021.” He warned leaders and every Igbo citizen to stay away from any ceremony organised by Governor Hope Uzodimma to welcome Buhari.

In addition, he stated that there would be “total lockdown of Biafraland” tomorrow. The stay-away order during Buhari’s Imo visit, is threatening the chances of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State.

APC chieftain, who pleaded anonymity, expressed fear of a possible sit-at-home order during the party’s campaigns.
IMO Government, yesterday, sealed some new generation banks in the capital city for allegedly obeying the sit-at-home order by IPOB in the South East.

The development caused hundreds of bank customers to be stranded. It is noteworthy that IPOB had relaxed the order, which, it reasoned, would hurt the economy of the region. Instead of observing the order every Monday, the pro-Biafra group said the sit-at-home should be any day its detained leader, Nnamdi Kanu, would go to court.

Of the financial institutions on Bank Road, Owerri, The Guardian gathered that only one was allowed to operate. Officials of Owerri Capital Development Authority (OCDA) used ribbons to seal some of the affected banks as early as 7:00a.m.

With the development, there are indications that the state may be locked down by traders and transporters when President Muhammadu Buhari visits tomorrow.

Already, the face-off between the government and petroleum tanker drivers has pushed transport fares up to about 100 per cent.
Efforts to reach the General Manager of OCDA, Innocent Ikpamezie, to react on the development proved abortive, as he did not respond to multiple calls put through his phone.

BUT the Chief Press Secretary (CPS)/Media Adviser to the Governor, Oguwike Nwachuku, said the action has nothing to do with IPOB and its order.

He told The Guardian yesterday: “It is not true that the sealing had something to do with IPOB. I strongly believe that the banks may be in violation of their obligations to the government, since OCDA was involved.”

Ohanaeze youths mobilize for Buhari

The Deputy National Leader Ohanaeze, Onwuasoanya Jones, disclosed this in a statement to newsmen in Owerri.

According to Ohanaeze, the visit of Buhari would be an opportunity for Igbo leaders and groups to directly engage the president on how to solve their grievances.

They said among other things, “As we are all aware, the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, shall be in Imo on an official working visit on the 9th of September, 2021. The President’s visit to Imo is his first working visit to the State since taking office in 2015 and the first time the State is hosting a President on working visit since 2009.

“This visit is especially significant given the recent communication from the governor of Imo State, His Excellency Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodimma, to the effect that the President is coming to put final seals on some strategic federal government interventions and partnerships which the Imo State government has agreed with the Federal Government.

“Also, a lineup of people-oriented and audacious projects are scheduled to be unveiled and inaugurated for the use of Imo people and for our individual comfort, notwithstanding our political or social leanings.

“The President is also billed to hold a town hall meeting with all classes of people from across Igbo land, including, the youths, traditional institution, traders, artisans, religious leaders and the political class. This town hall meeting shall afford anyone or group the opportunity to ask the President any questions or ventilate whatever might be our personal or group grievances and hopefully, the President shall take adequate note of these questions, observations and complaints.”

“It is delighting to note that the President is not coming for a jamboree but for serious businesses that every true Imo nay Igbo son or daughter should look forward to. It is on the strength of the above that Igbo youths, worldwide have resolved, not only to welcome the President to the Eastern Heartland, Imo but to also come out in their numbers to give the President, the hospitality he deserves within the period he is in Imo.

“May I reiterate that Igbo youths are peace-loving, hardworking and honourable people and would therefore not bring themselves to take part in any activity that aims to disrupt this important State event. Anyone or group of people found to be involved in any act aimed at disrupting this State visit or harassing those who wish to participate, should be treated as invaders and or felons and not doing so on behalf of Ndigbo or Igbo youths,” Ohanaeze said.

We’ve put adequate security measures in place – Imo Govt

The Imo Government says it has put adequate security measures on ground ahead of Thursday’s planned visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to the state.

The Commissioner for Information, Mr Declan Emelumba, said this during a news briefing in Owerri on Wednesday.

Emelumba said government spared no efforts to ensure there would be no security breach in any part of the state during the visit.

He warned that any person or group that would cause a breach of the peace would face the full wrath of the law.

“Imo stands to benefit immensely from the visit,” he said, adding that Gov. Hope Uzodimma should be commended for making the visit possible.

The commissioner said that part of the highlights of the visit would be the president’s closed-door meeting with “select leadership” of the South-Eastern states.

He also said the president would inaugurate some completed state government’s projects.

He listed the projects to include the first phase of the Naze-Ihiagwa-Nekede Link Road and a baloon drainage system designed to check perennial flooding in Owerri.

Emelumba further said the president would also inaugurate the Egbeada Bypass, built to check traffic congestion in Owerri metropolis and the new Government House executive chamber.

Buhari is coming to mock Imo people – Imo PDP

The Imo state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has say that president Buhari’s official visit to the state on Thursday is a deliberate ploy to mock the people of Imo state.

The party noted that neither the president nor the governor has shown concern for the plight of the people, alleging that both president Buhari and governor Hope Uzodimma are the cause and source of the on going war of attrition in the State.

In a statement issued Thursday by Ogubundu Nwadike , state publicity Secretary, said that ordinarily a presidential visit should be a grand event but that the people of the state are not elated.

The which read in part: “Ordinarily, the people of Imo state are expected to be elated at the prospect of the visit of the president.

But we note with regret that these familiar feelings and moods are absent in the case of the presidential visit to Imo state. Rather than be expectant and elated, the people are actually wondering what the president is coming to do in Imo State.

“Their feeling of loss and consternation derives from the emptiness and despondency that pervades the atmosphere in the state. In recent months, Imo, once a land of peace, was forcibly turned into a theatre of war. A phenomenon called unknown gun men reared its ugly head to the amazement of the people of the state. It was expected that the governor would toe the path of peace and arrest the slide. Instead, he exacerbated an already bad situation through inflammatory words and actions.

The statement further read:”Today, Imo knows no peace principally because the governor is on the warpath.
This situation was not helped by the angry and unstatemanly remarks of Mr president who threatened war and brimstone over separatist agitations. The unfortunate outcome of all this was the innumerable extra-judicial killings that took place in the state in the name of seeking out and fighting separatists. Imo under Governor Hope Uzodinma is a police state. Basic freedoms of the people have been curtailed while an army of occupation reigns and rules in the land. The entire scenario leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.
Beyond all this, the governor has been running a government from exile. He is known to be an absentee governor who visits the state whenever he deems fit.

It is also a well known fact that the governor has done very little to improve the infrastructural status of the state. There are no projects in any sector of the economy. In fact, the little economy the state had has been eroded by bad governance. Today, petroleum marketers in the state have jerked up pump prices of petroleum products because there is no government to negotiate with them over their grievances.

Adding, “We note also that neither the president nor the governor has shown concern for the plight of the people. If anything, they are the source and cause of the ongoing war of attrition in the state. The presidential visit will therefore leave a bitter taste in the mouth.

For us in PDP, the presidential visit is a deliberate ploy to mock the people of the state to their very face. This is callous and inhuman. Consequently, we invite the president, if he is really the father of the nation, to use the occasion of his visit to look inwards with a view to righting the grave wrongs he has done to the people of the state. The president can show some humility and remorse and use the occasion to mend fences with the people.

The president should also use his good offices to clip the wings of the governor who runs the state from outside. A mere fanfare will not help the bad situation in the state. Rather, it will generate more anger and acrimony.”

Keep Off During Buhari’s Visit, Imo Warns IPOB

The Imo state government has warned members of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to stay off during the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The president is expected to commission some projects of Governor Hope Uzodinma on Thursday

IPOB is reported to have declared a sit-at-home order on Thursday, threatening that the president is not wanted in any part of South East.

But the Commissioner for information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, who spoke to newsmen in Owerri on Wednesday, warned that no person should dare the resolve of the government to give the president a befitting reception.

He said, “I have not heard of any sit-at-home by any group. I think the one I heard is the one that said they want their leader released and will be protesting any day he appears in court.”

“However, we are talking of a presidential visit. The president is visiting Imo and we will do everything thing to give a befitting reception. We have made every security arrangement in this regard and I assure you that Imo people are enthusiastic about the visit.”

Emelumba described the president’s visit as unique as this is the first time he’s visiting the state officially.

The Commissioner said residents of the state are so enthusiastic to receive the president and to show their enthusiasm traders have decided to close all markets on Thursday.

He said that the president will be commissioning four projects among which is the Ihiagwa – Nekede Road, Balloon technology-driven underground tunnel with surface drainage at Chukwuma Nwoha road, Naze/ Nekede/Ihiagwa Road, the Egbeada By-Pass and the newly built ultra modern executive chambers.

Buhari’s visit to Imo: Opportunity for Ndigbo to present/address issues affecting them — Ohanaeze youths

Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide, Engr. Damian Okafor, stated that the planned visit of President Muhammadu Buhari would enable Ndigbo to present and address issues affecting them as a people.

The Youth Leader who encouraged Igbo Youths to come out en mass to give Mr President a resounding welcome added that “Mr President cannot come to the Igbo Land, hear all our problems and leave us without a solution, especially as it concerns the carnages being perpetrated by the Fulani mercenaries, the exclusion of the IGBO from the composition of Service Chiefs’ appointment, the underdevelopment of Igbo Nation, the high rate of unemployment among Igbo Youths, the socio-economic war against the Igbo nation; among others.”

In a statement titled “As Igbo Leaders prepare to Receive the Number one Citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; His Excellency President Mohammadu Buhari GCFR.” Comrade Okafor said: “It is with euphoria and sense of responsibility, that I wish to address Igbo Youths on the occasion of the august visit of the President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR to Igbo Land in Imo State to be precise on the 9th of September 2021.

“Firstly, I would like to appreciate the Almighty God for keeping us alive in the face of daunting security challenges that have affected our dear nation. It is not by our making that we are alive but by the agenda of the Almighty God who has the final say over every living being.

“Our region (south-east) has survived one of the goriest and grisly civil wars in the history of mankind. Base on the realities of unfolding events, the war was suspended but not ended. The Marginalization of Ndigbo has proven to us that we are enjoying a virtual relationship with the people that have promised to put the past behind us.

“A situation where an Igbo man is not considered worthy to be appointed into key security structures (Service Chiefs) of this country even when the region has fallen under constant attack is indeed another Hercules heels that needed to be addressed urgently so that we can move forward as a Nation.

“Basic infrastructural development of the region has been neglected by the central government at the peril of our Governors even as the Federal Character Commission, FCC, that is supposed to ensure the equitable distribution of job opportunities to all nooks and crannies of the country appears to be working against the Igbo nation.

‘Furthermore, we are constantly accused of such crimes that we don’t have the capacities to commit; the worst of it all is when it has been established that the Igbo nation is living in existential threat.

“Let me emphasize that we did not only put our only hope on God but we also believe that this golden opportunity with His Excellency, the President will help us address some of these issues.

“As the number one citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria visits Igbo Land, Owerri the capital city of Imo State on the 9th of September 2021, I call for total calm in the length and breadth of the Land as the Igbo leaders ably led by the President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide Ambassador (Professor) George A. Obiozor, the Chairman of the South-East Governors Forum, His Excellency Engr Chief David Nweze Umahi FNSE FNATE and not excluding the host Governor, His Excellency Sen Hope Odidika Uzodimma are ready to expose the facts about the challenges affecting the Igbo nation to Mr President, hence I encourage Igbo Youths to come out en mass to give Mr President a resounding welcome.

“We have been patient and expectant with maximum hope placed on God Almighty to help us again as Jehovah did for the people of Israel, while they were in Egypt as Ndigbo still believes in the 11th-hour miracle.

“It is believed that Mr President cannot come to the Igbo Land, hear all our problems and leave us without a solution, especially as it concerns the carnages being perpetrated by the Fulani mercenaries, the exclusion of the IGBO from the composition of Service Chiefs’ appointment, the underdevelopment of Igbo Nation, the high rate of unemployment among Igbo Youths, the socio-economic war against the Igbo nation; among others.

“Let us once again reactivate our spirit of hope and believe in the Word of God which says that “To the living, there is hope”. Ndigbo should have a better bargain than secession.

“A situation where our brothers and sisters in the Northern communities, especially in the City of Jos that recently fell under ruthless attack have refused to return home even when the delegations from Southeast have approached them to come back should be a thing of concern to all of us. Continuing the violent agitations is endangering millions of Ndigbo living outside the Igbo Land. Every IGBO life matters in this critical time that the enemies of Ndigbo have sworn to invest heavily to ensure that the ever-growing population of Ndigbo is commuted and abated.

“As for our brothers that are in detention facilities, the leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo under the watch of Ambassador Professor George A. Obiozor is not sleeping over them. He has lined up a team of lawyers to ensure that they get speedy justice. He is also doing everything within his reach not excluding negotiations, consultations, lobbying and what have you, to ensure that their fundamental human rights are respected and protected while their trial lasts. Ndigbo has to move forward and eschew violent approaches to national issues as violence has never favoured us.

“To Mr President, I say welcome to the Igbo nation. While we believe that your coming will leave us better than your absence. I wish Your Excellency a successful trip to the Eastern Heartland.”

Speak To Buhari In Language He Understands During Imo Visit – Activist Tells IPOB

The indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has been asked to speak to President Muhammadu Buhari in a language he understands on Thursday.

Deji Adeyanju, socio-political and human rights’ activist, said IPOB’s proposed sit-at-home order would send a very loud message to Buhari when he visits Imo State on Thursday.

In a series of tweets on Wednesday, the rights activist warned that residents of Imo State may be killed if they troop out to welcome the president; hence the need to stay indoors.

The convener of Concerned Nigerians also faulted those criticizing IPOB over the sit-at-home order.

According to Adeyanju: “IPOB should speak to Buhari in the language he understands tomorrow when he visits Imo.

“Their proposed ghost town will send a very loud message to him. Those who are criticising IPOB for their sit-at-home order are slaves who do not understand or appreciate freedom.

“If they go on the street to protest, Buhari will kill them. So, why will you say they shouldn’t stay at home to protest?”

Buhari is expected to visit Imo State tomorrow, according to the state Governor, Hope Uzodinma.

Uzodinma had said the President would commission some projects during his official visit to the State.

Meanwhile, IPOB had declared a sit-at-home over the president’s planned visit to the state.

Sources: Vanguard, Daily Trust, Sunnews, SaharaReporters and The GuardianNigeria


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