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Anxiety in South East over IPOB sit-at-home

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• Joint army, police patrol storm Imo streets in show of force, security beefed up  in Oyo

Magnus Eze, Enugu, George Onyejiuwa, Owerri and Okey Sampson, Umuahia

Palpable air of uncertainty has pervaded towns and cities of South East states following a declaration of sit-at-home today by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). 

The group, yesterday, restated its resolve to enforce compliance even as security forces in the region had been placed on red alert.

IPOB’s Director of Media and Publicity, Emma Powerful, in a statement, warned the Federal Government and security agencies to steer clear.

He declared that nobody could reverse the call on Igbo to remain indoors and not participate in celebrations of Nigeria’s 60 independence anniversary.

“Nigeria Police and those claiming to be fighting for Biafra freedom but stand against the coming of Biafra are inconsequential because they cannot afford to stop us,” he said. 

The self-determination group said it was working hard for the speedy and successful actualisation of Biafra, adding that Nigeria cannot scuttle their resolve.

It, then, urged other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria eager for change to demand freedom.

“Our people must be strong to encourage all other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria who wish to change their lives by demanding freedom. Freedom for all oppressed people is what IPOB is all about,” Powerful said.

In Owerri, the Imo State capital, there was joint patrol of the police and army which the Police Command called ‘operation show of force.’ 

The movement caused vehicular  gridlock as the team patrolled nooks and crannies of the metropolis. 

Spokesman of the state police command,  Mr. Orlando Ikeokwu, told Daily Sun that there was no cause for alarm as theoperation was to reassure the people that the police in conjunction with other security agencies were capable of protecting them.

Similarly, the Abia State police command has also warned parents in the state not to allow their children to be used to foment trouble.

The command’s spokesman, Geoffrey Ogbonna, in a statement on behalf of the Commissioner of Police, Janet Agbede, wared that the police would not fold its arms and watch people being used to cause trouble in the state under whatever guise.

Meanwhile, the Oyo Police Command said it has put adequate security measures in place to protect citizens.

In a statement by the command’s spokesman, Olugbenga Fadeyi, the Commissioner of Police,  Nwachuckwu Enwonwu, assured that police tactical teams including Special Anti-robbery squad (SARS), Anti-kidnapping squad (AKS), Swift Response squad (SRS), Police Mobile Force 4 and72, Skynet squad, Puff Adder, Federal and Safer Highway Patrol teams, Counter Terrorism squad (CTU) have been deployed across the state to provide adequate security for a hitch free celebration.

“In the same vein, the CP wishes to advise members of the public to be wary of criminal elements that may be bent on carrying out their evil intentions during this period to maim, rob innocent citizens of their hard earned money and property,” he said.


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