SIT-AT-HOME: Army Chief Commands Operation to Raid IPOB Hideouts
SIT-AT-HOME: Army Chief Commands Operation to Raid IPOB Hideouts

The Chief of Army Staff, Maj. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja has issued a directive for troops to take control of areas where the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) are implementing a sit-at-home order in the South-East states.

This order follows an announcement by Simon Ekpa, a pro-Biafra agitator based in Finland, regarding a two-week sit-at-home in the South-East region starting from July 31. Ekpa stated that the purpose of the order was to demand the immediate release of detained IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu and to advocate for the freedom of the Biafra nation.

Ekpa warned of severe consequences for those who fail to comply with the sit-at-home order.

However, Brig. Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, the Director of Army Public Relations, stated in an interview with The PUNCH that such an announcement is illegal and will not be tolerated. He explained that the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, in collaboration with other security agencies, has been instructed to ensure the freedom of citizens to carry out their lawful activities by conducting robust patrols and implementing measures at potential flashpoints.

READ MORE: Again, Simon Ekpa Issues Two-week Sit-At-Home In South East

Onyema criticized Ekpa, referring to him as a notorious terrorist and self-proclaimed IPOB leader, highlighting the irony of Ekpa living comfortably in Finland while ordering people to disrupt their livelihoods by observing the sit-at-home order.

The army spokesperson urged the people of the South-East to ignore the sit-at-home order and support the security forces in combating IPOB’s activities. He emphasized that the order is illegal and called on the populace to resist it alongside law enforcement agencies.

Similarly, the police vowed to counter the sit-at-home order in any part of the South-East. Muyiwa Adejobi, the Force spokesperson, confirmed that the police have already taken action against non-state actors enforcing the order, resulting in arrests and the confiscation of weapons. Adejobi assured the public that the police are committed to maintaining law and order across Nigeria and have implemented adequate security measures to safeguard the South-East region. The police are also monitoring the sponsors of the agitators.

In a separate development, Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State visited the Nigerian Navy headquarters in Abuja to seek support in abolishing the sit-at-home order in the state. The governor previously declared the sit-at-home order banned in Enugu, citing its detrimental effects on the state’s economy. However, the order continues to be observed on Mondays. Governor Mbah expressed concerns about attracting investors to Enugu State while the sit-at-home persists and emphasized the need for both kinetic and non-kinetic approaches to addressing insecurity. He sought collaboration with the Navy to enhance security in Enugu State and uphold national unity.


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