By Dennis Agbo
Virtually all the streets in Awka, Anambra state capital, were on Friday, in lack of people as residents closed shops, including corporate activities in compliance to the one-week sit-at-home ordered by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.
Business hubs such as Aroma and Unizik junctions were with the scanty presence of people from morning to evening.
Journalists and other election observers moving to different parts of the state, such as Nnewi, to cover the Saturday governorship election could not find transportation since the movement was paralysed.
A commercial cab that agreed for hire to Ekwulobia charged as high as N15,000 in a journey that ordinarily would not have cost more than one thousand Naira.
But Ohanaeze Ndigbo in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Alex Ogbonnia applauded the decision of IPOB to cancel the one-week Sit-at-Home order earlier scheduled to commence on Friday and urged the people of the state to come out en mass to cast their votes.
Ogbonnia said that the statement by Emma Powerful, the spokesman of IPOB, that they have heeded the advice of the well-meaning Igbos was a welcome development.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo had earlier pleaded with IPOB to reconsider its position on Sit-at-Home syndrome in the South East of Nigeria, reiterating that self-immolation is the worst form of rights’ struggle.
Ohanaeze maintained that IPOB was a child of circumstance occasioned by orchestrated national political decisions, and which requires a political solution that it said the leadership of the South East are committed to.
“Professor Obiozor urges all the Anambra indigenes to come out and exercise their franchise in the November 6 governorship election.
“The presence of security operatives in thousands should not be a source of fear and trepidation, rather a confidence-building dynamic by the federal government to guarantee adequate security of lives and property in the State.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo requests the Chief of Army Staff, the Inspector General of Police and all the Service Chiefs whose men are involved in the Anambra election to ensure that the security operatives observe strictly the best global standard of rules of engagement with the good people of Anambra State.
“The federal security operatives should synergize with the traditional rulers, town union presidents and local community vigilante for effective coordination of the voting process,” Ogbonnia said.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo informed the Chairman, Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, that a credible election in Anambra State on November 6, will redound to the reputation of President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigeria in the comity of nations.
Ohanaeze noted that it was non-partisan and neutral in the Anambra State governorship election, stating that all the candidates were its illustrious sons and prayed for the best candidate to win.