SECESSIONIST group the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (Ipob) has announced that May 31 will be recognised as Biafra Day during which there will be a sit-at-home protest across the southeast and south-south geo-political zones.
Over recent years, Ipob has been campaigning for the recreation of the defunct republic of Biafra and has held numerous rallies across Igboland to state its cause. Since 2015 when President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office, these calls for secession have grown louder as his administration is seen as marginalising Ndigbo when it comes to appointments.
With the recent murderous activities of Fulani cattle herdsmen, these calls for secession have grown louder and to make the point, Ipob has organised a protest on Monday May 31. it had originally been scheduled for Sunday May 30 but Ipob spokesman Emma Powerful, said the date has shifted to avoid any conflict with Sunday worshippers.
According to Mr Powerful, while there will be a partial observation of the Biafra Day on Sunday, there will be a total lockdown on Monday throughout the entire Biafraland. He enjoined all residents to comply with the order and remain indoors from 6am to 6pm in honour of all those who have paid the supreme price in the course of the struggle for Biafran autonomy.
Mr Powerful said: “We, the Indigenous People of Biafra ably led by our great and indomitable leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, wish to announce that this year’s Biafra Remembrance Day sit-at-home will now hold on Monday, May 31 and not Sunday, May 30 as earlier directed. The modification is following genuine observations about our earlier directive as many of our people observe Sundays as a day of worship.
“There will be the partial observation of the Biafra Day on May 30th but there will be a total lockdown and sit-at-home on Monday 31st of May. We, therefore, expect Biafrans all over the world to stay indoors on May 31 for the respect and honour of our fallen heroes and heroines who paid the supreme price for us to live.
“It is our right to remember them for defending the genocidal attacks on our people between 1967 and 1970. Consequently, all commercial activities must be shut down on May 31 throughout the land of Biafra. There should be no vehicular movement on that day on Biafra roads.
“Transport companies must withdraw from the road on that day and the National Union of Road Transport Workers, National Associations of Road Transport Owners and others are expected to fully comply with this directive. In the same vein, artisans and traders must close shop on that day.
“Airports, seaports, banks and financial institutions should all shut down in honour of our fallen heroes and heroines. Okada and tricycles organisations are also advised to withdraw from roads on that day and there shall be no social gatherings or events including burials, weddings on that day from 6 am to 6 pm.
“Parents are advised not to send their children to school on that day as no one is expected to be seen outside. Full compliance is expected from all, while Biafrans in diaspora are to hold peaceful rallies in their countries of abode.”