Anambra: IPOB Preparing Ground For State Of Emergency – CSOs Condemn Sit-at-home
A coalition of civil society organizations in the South-East has urged the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, to immediately withdraw the sit-at-home order it issued ahead of the Anambra State governorship election.
The election, scheduled for November 6, is now under threat with the IPOB ordering a sit-at-home from November 5 to November 10.
At an international press conference in Enugu, on Sunday, the CSOs said should the order be carried out, the Federal Government would have no option other than to impose a state of emergency on the state and the citizens would be the ultimate losers.
Although the CSOs demanded the unconditional release of the IPOB leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, they maintained that the sit-at-home order was not well considered and should be withdrawn.
The press conference addressed by Comrade Emeka Umeagbalasi was under the aegis of Int’l Society For Civil Liberties and Rule Of Law, assisted by leaders of Southeast CLO and Coalition of Southeast Democracy and Human Rights Organizations.
According to the group, “if for instance on the day of that election, people cannot come out, transporters are nowhere to be found, even INEC ad-hoc staff cannot find their way to polling units, it clearly indicates a state of the breakdown of law and order and what will follow is the pronouncement of state of emergency.”
Meanwhile, the CSOs condemned the crackdown on secessionists, noting that it was within the ambit of the law to seek self determination.
While claiming that over 2000 Igbos were languishing in several detention facilities, the group said “the hate policy of the present Nigerian Government including structural, physical and cultural violence and violent crackdowns are responsible for resort by the agitators to violent self defense. Available statistics have clearly indicated that not less than 480 unarmed members of the self determination groups and uninvolved members of the civilian population were killed by security forces and not less than 700 others shot with live bullets and seriously injured between August 2015 and Sept 2017.
Several dozens also disappeared and hundreds abducted or unlawfully arrested and detained for years without trial. Then, the casualty figures on the side of security forces were acutely asymmetrical. Members of the self- determination groups in Eastern Nigeria also maintained nonviolence for five years or from August 2015 to Nov 2020 but were forced into violent self defense by the Nigerian Government in Dec 2020, following the formation of the Eastern Security Network. Conversely, recent statistics showed that out of over 600 non-state actor deaths perpetrated by security forces in Eastern Nigeria since January 2021, 550 were unarmed and defenseless citizens and about 50 were armed members of the self determination groups. Security forces also recorded not less than 400 combatant or battlefield casualties.”
They demanded that “The Nigerian Government must free Nnamdi Kanu and end all forms of violent crackdowns and state persecutions against agitators and innocent and defenseless members of the Eastern Nigeria population.
“The condemnable act of the Nigerian Government in this regard also constitutes a serious threat to international peace and security and derogation of international customary, human rights and humanitarian law obligations and has portrayed the country in bad light and presented her as ‘a rogue Member-State of the United Nations and African Union’.”
On Anambra Governorship Election scheduled for 6th November, 2021, the CSOs said they expertly found that “it has no iota of negative impact on the ongoing self determination agitation. Rather, holding it and allowing voters to vote will raise more public consciousness and support required and further serve as a litmus test for the agitation and emancipation of the Southeast.
To allow the Election to be massively and scientifically rigged or to be stopped will be disastrously calamitous and placed the State under ‘Khaki or Agbada Caliphate’ and ‘a nomadic rainforest State’.
“Therefore, the agitators are called upon to channel resources and energies against poll rigging and riggers and ensure that the Nov 6 Governorship Poll is popularly and credibly conducted and won.”