The Abia State Government on Friday responded to the legal trial of Mazi Nnamdi Kalu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and the scheduled sit-it-home order.
A statement from the Abia state government house has it that the state government is actively monitoring the situation.
Nnamdi Kanu hailed from Afaraukwu, a community in Umuahia, which is not far from the state’s government house in Abia state.
Kalu is currently under trial at a Federal High Court in Abuja and his state of origin has vowed to ensure that his fundamental human rights, as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic, are respected.
In a statement signed by Chief John Okiyi Kalu, Commissioner for Information of the state, Abia said it has remained in touch with “his family members, other relevant persons and institutions, and receive regular updates through them on the situation.”
The State Government, however, kicked against any move by supporters of the secessionist leader to enforce sit-at-home in the State.
The State said that while it would not stop anyone sitting at home for any reason, it would not fold its hands and watch as people are forced against their wish or children stopped from going to schools.
The statement reads: “The Abia State Government is confident that the judiciary will ensure a free and manifestly fair trial for him and others as they remain innocent until proven guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction,” the statement said.
“We, therefore, wish to call on all citizens and visitors to continue to be law abiding and avoid any act that might lead to a breakdown of law and order.
“While Government will not compel anyone wishing to sit at home for any reason whatsoever not to do so, as citizens have freedom of movement under the extant Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we wish to strongly advice that nobody should also compel or enforce any sit at home order from any non state actor as doing so does not serve any known interests of the people of the state.
“Furthermore, compelling our children to stay away from school can only serve the interests of the yet to be properly identified persons who may not want to see us make progress as a people.
“Similarly, our traders sitting at home at a time they need to work very hard to sustain their families and create wealth especially in this era of COVID-19 impacted global economy will obviously not serve any development interest of our hardworking citizens.
“All law abiding citizens and visitors are therefore called upon to go about their normal businesses without fear of molestation as adequate security has been provided to ensure their safety.
“Parents and guardians are also called upon to ensure that they monitor the activities of their children and wards with a view to ensuring that they do not engage in unlawful activities that will put them in harm’s way. “
Chief John Okiyi Kalu
Honorable Commissioner for Information, Abia State
However, in a latest statement signed by CP Janet Agbede Psc, Commissioner of Police, Abia State Command, warns against breach of peace in the scheduled Sit-At-Home which it referred to as “rumoured Sit-At-Home”.
The letter reads: “There are rumours circulating in the state that members of the proscribed indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB) has resolved to commence a sit-at-home on every ‘Mondays’ with effect from Monday 9 August 2021.
“The story has it that they have arranged to use their militant arm, Eastern Security Network (ESN) to force compliance. We’re aware that majority of the citizens depend on daily income for their survival. The sit-at-home will negatively impact the economy of the state and individual pocket.
“These intended actions against those that are not willing to sit-at-home constitute acts likely to cause a breach of the peace and also infringe on their fundamental human rights,” she said. The Commissioner of Police, therefore, advised parents and guardians to warn their children and wards against participating in any act, including social media activities capable of stirring action likely to cause a breach of the peace in the state.
The group, Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB) recently circulated a letter in the media space alerting the Nigerian government to speedily release their leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kalu and demanded all the south-east region to Sit-At-Home from Monday, 9th August 2021 if the federal government of Nigeria fails to release their leader.
See letter below:?