Nowhere secured in Nigeria — Mbazulike Amechi

•Says actions, utterances threaten chances of Kanu’s release

Threatens to withdraw effort to release Kanu

As sit-at-home grounds S-East; markets, shops, banks, other commercial activities shut

Deploy political solution, Nzuko Umunna urges Buhari

By Anayo Okoli, Clifford Ndujihe, Vincent Ujumadu, Dennis Agbo, Chimaobi Nwaiwu, Ugochukwu Alaribe, Chinedu Adonu, Chinonso Alozie, Ikechukwu Odu, Steve Oko & Emmanuel Iheaka

First Republic Aviation Minister and one of the few remaining members of the Zikist Movement, Mbazulike Amechi, has written Ifeanyi Ejiofor, lawyer of the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, complaining about the conduct of some IPOB leaders.

Amechi  is not happy that while he is leading a negotiations’ team for the release of Nnamdi Kanu, the leaders of  the group are  making utterances and issuing sit-at-home orders that are threatening the chances of having their leader released.

The elder statesman and nationalists also noted that their sit-at-home order is ruining Igbo economy, just as it is sabotaging the effort to release Mazi Kanu, urging them to stop such further actions.

Amechi spoke on the heels of another sit-at-home which comatosed the southeast economically.

In his message to Mr. Ejiofor, Chief Amechi sought his intervention about the action of  some IPOB leaders which according to him, is endangering the ongoing discussion and negotiation about the release of Mazi Kanu.

The nonagenarian demanded that IPOB Leaders should stop some of their actions and utterance which according to him, make the release of their leader more difficult, warning that if they don’t stop such actions, he will withdraw his effort.

Chief Amechi’s statement read: “I have personally contacted Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor, and expressed my concerns and sought for his intervention about the action of some IPOB Leaders which is endangering the ongoing discussion and negotiation about the release of Nnamdi Kanu and Igbo questions.

“Their sit-at-home orders are ruining Igbo economy and sabotaging  the effort to release Nnamdi Kanu.

“They must stop their actions and utterances which make the release of their leader more difficult. If  they don’t stop ,I will withdraw my effort.”

Sit-at-home

Commercial activities were at standstill in the South East yesterday as the people resumed the weekly Monday sit-at-home. Unlike last week when it was not observed, apparently because most people were still celebrating marriages and community development programmes as part of the Yuletide activities, yesterday was a different ballgame.

As usual, the streets were virtually empty and some people  started driving out from their home in the afternoon. There was very light traffic as commuters were absent.

Banks were closed and some filling stations did not open for business. Also, inter-city transport was not available as operators like the Eastern Mass Transit, Star Sunny, TRACAS, ANIDS, among others did not open for business.

Stampede in Nsukka

There was stampede in Obollo-Afor, the headquarters of Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu State as hooded gunmen enforcing the suspended IPOB sit-at-home order attacked residents in the early hours of yesterday.

The hooded gunmen who came into the commercial town on motorcycles were seen beating traders who had opened their shops for business. Other residents were seen scampering for safety as the hoodlums chased them  with whips.

A tricycle was also burnt by the hoodlums.

It was learned that members of Udenu Central Neighbourhood Watch took to their heels on sighting the gunmen. A Sienna car belonging to the group was destroyed in the attack.

One of the traders who  said he had a close shave with the gunmen said he was yet to recover from the incident.

“They had guns, knives, and whips with which they dispersed people. They didn’t shoot at anybody. Their faces were covered. I am  still shaking from the shock. I thought they would attack me since my shop was open at the time they passed. Later on, I heard they were beating some people and asking others to go back home.”

Another eyewitness said that a military team arrived at the town around 8:30 am and patrolled it to ensure that normalcy is restored.

Transport companies shut in Imo

A cross-section of transportation companies operating in Imo State yesterday shut down their transportation companies ahead of  today’s sit-at-home order of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.

Vanguard visited Egbu and Control Post in Owerri and observed that transportation companies whose vehicles travel  out of Imo have closed business.

Some of the workers of the companies who didn’t want to mention their names said they had to start on Monday to shut down ahead of Tuesday when the IPOB leader will be appearing in court.

According to them, the reason was that the enforcers of the sit-at-home usually start moving around the night before the day of the sit-at-home.

One Onyemachi Ihegbulem, along Egbu said: “The only way to travel now is to go to Asaba, and from there, you can move to anywhere you want.

“My brother, I must tell you this sit-at-home of  a thing is killing our business and we must do something to end it. It is destroying our transportation business.

“Look, we did not open on Monday and we will not open on Tuesday. What is all this madness for.? Let us be reasonable for once.”

Scanty human, vehicular movement in Onitsha, Nnewi

Onitsha, the commercial city of Anambra State on Monday witnessed scanty human and vehicular movement, contrary to what was obtained last week Monday, following residents continued observance of the Monday weekly sit-at-home which has long been called off by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.

READ ALSO: Nnamdi Kanu: IPOB reiterates no sit-at-home today, Wednesday, Thursday

Market and banks did not open for commercial and business activities, just as schools and other government establishments were under lock and key.

Security agents that hitherto, were intimidating and harassing residents of Onitsha, particularly the Police, that unleashed terror on residents of Onitsha on Saturday, shooting sporadically, because they wanted to arrest  a young man with dreadlocks riding in a white exotic car were  not seen on the streets of both towns to maintain security for people who wished to go about their businesses.

Enugu streets deserted

Streets in Enugu State were yesterday devoid of both human and vehicular traffic as residents observed the sit-at-home order instituted at the beginning of the trial of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

The Enugu residents’ compliance to the suspended order may not be far from the orgy of violence where lives were feared lost, penultimateMonday, following the enforcement of  the order by some unknown hoodlums who unleashed mayhem in different parts of the state.

Report had it that Enugu was marked out by the hoodlums as a state not complying with the order  and therefore targeted last week to create fear and compliance on the residents.

Subsequently, yesterday, everybody stayed at home with shops, markets, banks, government ministries, transportation, and artisan businesses paralyzed. Streets monitored b Vanguard such as Nike Lake road, popular Nike road in the heart of the densely populated Abakpa district, Trans-Ekulu streets, New GRA, and environs were all deserted from morning till evening yesterday.

An ardent supporter of the sit-at-home order who identified himself as Eze said that the sit-at-home will consume the rest of this week because of the Nnamdi Kanu’s court cases that have been lined up in different courts at Abuja and Umuahia.

However, Kanu’s special  counsel, Aloy Ejimakor who spoke to Vanguard maintained that January 17th, 19th, and 20th are not sit-at-home days and described those enforcing sit-at-home on those dates as hoodlums.

Economic activities shut  in Anambra

COMMERCIAL activities were at standstill in many parts of Anambra State yesterday as the people resumed the weekly Monday sit-at-home.

The ever-busy Enugu-Onitsha expressway witnessed very light traffic as commuters were absent.

Banks were closed and some filling stations did not open for business. Also, inter-city transport was not available as operators like the Eastern Mass Transit, Star Sunny, TRACAS, ANIDS, among others did not open for business.

 The state secretariat was completely deserted as workers avoided their duty posts, just as most of the shopping malls in Awka were under lock. A civil servant who resides outside the state capital said he prepared for work but could not find a vehicle to transport him to office.

Tricycle operators popularly called Keke Napep were however plying in all parts of Awka, just as some roadside shops opened for business.

Traffic wardens usually working at strategic points in the urban centers in the state did not operate.

Motor parks, markets shut in Abia

Motor parks and markets and other business centers in Aba and Umuahia cities of Abia State were shut yesterday.

Banks and schools were also shuts as bank customers could only make use of the Automated Teller Machines,ATMs.

However, the roads were busy as motorists were seen conveying passengers to their different destinations.

A motor park official who declined to have his name on print, attributed the closure of parks to the sit at home which has been taking place every Monday in the state.

Schools which had resumed last week Monday were still shut as they did not open for academic activities as students were seen returning to their homes.

Major markets like Ariaria International , Ngwa road ,Cemetery and Ekeoha were all shut. It was rumoured that all markets in the state have been shut by the state government.

Owerri records partial economic activities

Owerri, Imo State capital, yesterday, recorded partial economic activities.Many offices and most private schools were shut while some banks opened for business.

Our Correspondent who visited Ikenegbu Layout, Amakohia, Orji, Wetheral, MCC roads, saw many shops closed.

Of all the places visited, World Bank last roundabout was the busiest, yet not as busy as other days.

The city had  been saturated with the rumour of a four-day sit-at-home that was to last from Monday to Thursday.

It should be noted that Owerri before now, had resumed full Monday economic activities after sitting at home every Monday for six consecutive weeks.

Deploy political solution, Nzuko Umunna urges Buhari

TO douse the building tension in the polity especially in the South-East, the Igbo Think-Tank group, Nzuko Umunna, has once again called on President Muhammadu Buhari to release Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and seek a political solution to every other issue preceding or arising from his abduction.

The call for Kanu’s release comes as an Abia State High Court sitting in Umuahia is set to deliver judgment on Wednesday, January 19, 2022, on a human rights suit brought before it by the IPOB leader.

Kanu had challenged what he called a violation of his human rights and the 2017 alleged military invasion of his Afaraukwu, Umuahi, family home.

The suit, which was filed by Kanu’s lawyer, Aloy Ejimakor, had asked the court to declare as illegal, the action of the Nigerian government in the ‘abduction’ of the IPOB leader in Kenya and his rendition to Nigeria to be allegedly tortured and dehumanized.

IPOB had, in a statement, insisted there would not be sit-at-home in South-East on that day but urged all members to storm the court.

In a statement yesterday, the Nzuko Umunna urged President Buhari to explore the opportunities provided by the intervention of South-East Governors, South-East NASS Caucus, South-East Council of Traditional Rulers, Representatives of Igbo Archbishops and Bishops, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Pa Mbazulike Amechi, and some groups in the South-East to release Nnamdi Kanu and resolve his matter politically.

BnL cautions Igbo Elders, IPOB over political solution for Biafra, Kanu

However, the Biafra Nations League, BnL, has exempted itself from those calling for a political solution to Biafra, faulting calls for political solution over the release of Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) by some elders of Igbo extraction.

In a statement  released by the Standing Committee of Senior Officials of BnL,  signed by the chairman and admin officer of the group, Godstime Ntukidem, the BnL faulted the Igbo elders for continuously begging President Muhammadu Buhari  for negotiations even after he  has insisted that he would not consider their demands unless Kanu behaves himself.

The Committee insisted that the January 23 ultimatum issued by the leadership of BnL still stands and would be followed accordingly, adding that all officers of the group are working hand in hand to ensure that the decision of BnL which was reached in Bakassi Peninsula weeks ago is implemented across areas of their influence. They however, warned that failure to release Kanu, Benjamin Onwuka and all Biafrans in detention would attract aggressive agitations.

VANGUARD NEWS NIGERIA

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