Not true, protest will hold, says IPOB Anglican bishops flee Anambra over threat
Charles Onyekamuo in Awka and David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
A coalition of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has called off the proposed sit-at-home protest declared by the IPOB last week.
The sit-at-home protest was supposed to be a propeller for the release of Nnamdi Kanu, the Director of Radio Biafra, who has been in prison.
But speaking through Messrs Okanu Muoneme and Basil Okwuzi, who are respectively the Coordinator and Secretary of the coalition in statement signed by them, the coalition stated that it is voiding the protest to avert “avoidable deaths.”
The group said it would no longer allow the death of members for avoidable reasons.
The coalition, however, reiterated the call for the immediate and unconditional release of Kanu in obedience to various court judgments on the matter.
It also urged the federal government to address the infrastructural decay in the South-east and South-south geo-political zones, especially the federal roads which it said are in terrible conditions. “We the IPOB and MASSOB (home) hereby dissociate ourselves from the directives of Radio Biafra broadcasting from oversea that people should stay indoors on September 23 in solidarity for the release of Kanu.
“We plead that President Muhammadu Buhari effect the release of Kanu immediately without condition and that all previous court judgments which ordered his release be obeyed without further delay.
“We urge the people and every believer of the Biafran struggle to go about their normal businesses without fear of molestation,’’ it stated.
The coalition frowned at the activities of the operators of Radio Biafra whom they said were enjoying themselves outside the country while some of their members at home are either dead or languishing in prisons.
In a separate statement, however, the IPOB Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, who claims to be speaking for the authentic IPOB led by Kanu, dismissed the purported IPOB/MASSOB coalition. Powerful said the proposed sit-at-home protest would hold, and that no contrary arrangement has made.
Meanwhile, following the fear that the sit-at-home threat on Friday by IPOB could degenerate into violence, about 170 Anglican Bishops who converged on Awka, Anambra State on Monday for a five-day Standing Committee meeting of the Anglican Communion of Nigeria yesterday cut short their meeting ending it abruptly.
The conference was scheduled to end on Friday, but the bishops decided to end it for fear that they might be trapped.
The Primate of the Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Nicolas Okoh, even expressed this fear earlier in the conference, saying that the meeting may not go on as scheduled.
He nonetheless urged the state governor, Chief Willie Obiano, to prevail on IPOB members to rethink their Friday protest so that the bishops’ conference could go on as planned, adding that the sit-at-home protest by the IPOB would hamper their activities.
The primate implored the pro-Biafra agitators to postpone their action until after the end of the bishops’ conference.
The Anglican bishops also appealed to the Niger Delta militants to stop the bombing of oil facilities in their region in the interest of the country, even as they called on President Muhammadu Buhari to convene a meeting between the government and the agitators with a view to addressing their grievances.