The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a separatist group that seeks to create an independent state of Biafra in the South-East region of Nigeria, has announced the end of its sit-at-home order that was imposed every Monday since August 9, 2021.
The order was meant to protest the arrest and detention of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, who is facing charges of treason and terrorism.
The group said it has cancelled the sit-at-home order permanently and will only observe it on the days that Kanu appears in court. It also said it will no longer use the sit-at-home as a tool of civil disobedience in its quest for self-determination.
The group’s spokesman, Emma Powerful, said the decision was authorised by Kanu himself and conveyed through flyers and posters distributed across the South-East. He warned that anyone seen enforcing or talking about the sit-at-home order is an enemy of the people and will be dealt with accordingly.
The sit-at-home order had caused economic and social disruptions in the region, as many businesses, schools, banks, and markets were shut down every Monday. Some residents also complained of harassment and intimidation by IPOB members and supporters who enforced the order.
The cancellation of the sit-at-home order has been welcomed by many stakeholders in the region, including traditional rulers, traders, civil society groups, and politicians. They urged IPOB to embrace dialogue and peaceful means to achieve its objectives.