IPOB sit-home: Ex-biafra provinces of Bayelsa, Cross River, Akwa Ibom shun order

It appears the influence of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has been restricted to the five 5 southeast states.

On Monday, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers and Akwa-Ibom States, that were part of the Biafra regional government during the civil war in 1967-1970, shunned the sit-at-home directive.

Partial compliance was observed in Rivers State.

While there have been controversies over the exact map of the Biafra states, the outcome of the sit-at-home appears to be restricting the map to five states of Anambra, Imo, Abia, Enugu and Ebonyi. In these states, the directive was actively observed.

Asari Dakubo has been challenging Kanu for the control of the movement. Recently, the ex-militant declared himself the leader of the Biafra defacto Customary Government (BCG).

He also accused Kanu of trying to make the Biafra struggle, an “Igbo struggle”.

“Is Biafra struggle an Igbo struggle? He’s making it an Igbo struggle. The Biafra Nnamdi Kanu is pursuing will be worse than Southern Sudan if he wants to promote Igbo hegemony over and above Ijaw hegemony, Ibibio hegemony, and so on,” the former agitator said.

Cross River

This former province of the Eastern region did not comply with the directive as observed by our reporter on the ground.

The popular Wat market in Calabar was opened business, with traders transacting their businesses.

Even traders from the southeast also boycotted the order. Although some are sympathetic to the struggle for Biafra, they still went about their businesses.

“At least we still have people who can talk without fear. Tell me besides Fulani, which other groups are outspoken, none. Other ethnic groups are going into extinction and it is very sad,” a trader at Wat Market said.

In a text message sent to our correspondent in Calabar, the President of Ohanaeze, Cross River State chapter and Senior Special Assistant to Governor Ben Ayade, on Igbo affairs, Ugoji Nwabueze lamented the action of some of South Easterners in the state.

“It has become imperative to draw the attention of Ndi Igbo in Cross River State to the widely circulated sit-at-home order purportedly in South East of Nigeria issued by two secessionist groups, IPOB and MASSOB.

“Various media reports indicate a build-up of tension in the zone but thankfully, security operatives are poised to protect lives and property and instil orderliness.

“Cross River has enjoyed a national reputation of a safe and tranquil state where various tribes, including the Igbo, peacefully live and carry out various economic endeavours to earn a living.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Cross River hereby his associates Igbos in this state from any sit-at-home order. We hereby restate our loyalty and allegiance to the government of Cross River and by extension, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.


Out reporters at the major Swali ultramodern market observed non-compliance with the directive.

The ever-busy Mbiama- Yenagoa road where bigger shops are located and Tombia phone market were also not locked.

According to Mr Ezenife Uche, a trader at the Ekeki shopping plaza, we are not celebrating here in the state because of the hard times. What I am thinking of as a family man is what I will feed my people with.

He said, “Since last week, I can’t even boast of something reasonable due to the rainy season. Once it’s raining, we don’t get much patronage here like others whose shops are upstairs.

“I don’t have such time, my family first before anything; besides, we are in another state whose indigene do not even believe in the Biafra struggle, so it will look weird to carry out such a thing. So we have to respect ourselves. Our lives matter.”

According to a youth leader from the Eastern part residing in Yenagoa but does not want his name published, Bayelsa State is a peaceful place and we won’t want to do anything to truncate or cause any crisis in the state due to the way some persons view the agitation.

“We work and do business here so we should respect the peace. I won’t want to talk more than this.”

Our correspondent in Akwa-Ibom also observed non-compliance with the directive in the state.

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