The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) says it will lock down the south-east if Nnamdi Kanu, its leader, is not released from detention by November 4.
The proscribed separatist group is known for enforcing its sit-at-home order in the region in solidarity with Kanu who has been in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) since July.
On Tuesday, a federal high court in Abuja rejected Kanu’s request to be moved to Kuje Correctional Service Centre. His trial was adjourned till November 10.
In a statement issued on Saturday, Emma Powerful, IPOB spokesperson, said the fresh lockdown, which will be enforced between November 5 and 10, is in honour of Kanu.
“Following the adjournment of our great leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s court case to 10th of November 2021, by the federal high court Abuja, we the great movement and family of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), wish to inform Biafrans, friends of Biafra and lovers of freedom that IPOB will lock down Biafra land from 5th of November to 10th of November except Sunday, November 7th, a day our people worship the Almighty God, Chukwu Okike Abiama, if the Nigeria government fails to release our leader unconditionally before 4th of November 2021,” the statement read.
“Our leader, onyendu Mazi Nnamdi must be released unconditionally on or before November 4, 2021 because he has not committed any offence known to any law.
“Failure to release our leader Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi KANU on or before November 4, 2021, our one-week sit-at-home begins on November 5, 2021, till November 10.
“Although we quite understand the pains and adverse effects of this option on our people, we are compelled to take it to achieve a better purpose in the collective interest of Biafrans.
“We have taken time to analyse what transpired on October 21 when our leader was arraigned in court and discovered that the federal government is not sincere and only wants to humiliate him and keep him perpetually in the DSS custody to rot there.
“We all saw how lawyers, journalists, Igbo delegates and respected traditional rulers and other people who came from all around the world to witness his court case were restricted and denied access into the court premises by security agents who kept them outside under the scorching heat of the sun. What a humiliation and wickedness!
“We cannot accept that anymore. We can never allow our leader Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu to be tried secretly and we can never also allow him to be tried under Sharia law under any guise. Nigeria must follow international laws in handling our leader.
“Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is in the DSS dungeon today because of his passion for Biafra independence, and we must sacrifice all we can to ensure that he regains his freedom. He has sacrificed so much for us all, so we must be prepared to sacrifice little for him”.
The group said the lockdown is a “necessary sacrifice” the people of the south-east will have to make until its independence is achieved.
According to IPOB, no resident of the region is expected to disobey the directive as “doing so amounts to challenging the will of the people on the Biafra project”.