By David-Chyddy ElekeÂ in Awka
The leadership of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has announcedÂ May 30thÂ as date for this year’s sit-at-home exercise.
The exercise has become an annual event, which the group said was used to honour Igbo indigenes who lost their lives in the three-year long civil war which took place between 1967 and 1970.
In a press statement signed by Emma Powerful, media and publicity secretary of the group and made available to THISDAY in Awka, IPOB said that this year’s event would be special as it had included states in the middle belt, which are being ravaged by Fulani herdsmen as part of the exercise.
Powerful said another unique feature of this year’s exercise was that unlike other years when members were advised to stay at home, this year’s will feature solemn church service from the night ofÂ 29th MayÂ all through toÂ 30th May.
This it said would be in honour and remembrance of those killed during the civil war, those killed by security forces during IPOB rallies and those killed by Fulani cattle herders in the middle belt area of Nigeria.
Part of the press statement released to THISDAY by the group read; “We consider it imperative to use this opportunity to announce the sit-at home-order throughout Biafraland and Nigeria in remembrance of our fallen heroes and heroines.
“This year, we shall also remember all victims of Fulani herdsmen attacks, Boko Haram violence and those that died at the hands of Nigerian security agencies over the years that nobody remembers.Â
“We are calling on all the people of Southern Kaduna, Middle Belt especially Benue, Adamawa, Kogi, those affected by herdsmen terrorism in Ondo and other states in Yorubaland to join the great family of IPOB in observing a day of solemn prayer and sit at home to remember those that lost their lives unlawfully at the hands of Fulani terrorist herdsmen and security agencies.”
The group further stated that, “This year’s remembrance will be special because it will present a unique moment of shared pains and misery for all the families that lost their loved ones to war, hunger, disease and terrorism.
“We remember those that sacrificed their lives to defend the defenseless and those that lost their lives because there was no one to defend them.”
“There will be no human, vehicular or animal movement across Biafraland on theÂ 30th May 2018. Biafraland will be in total lock down. Middle Belt and Yorubaland brethren are advised to join this historic sit-at-home to honour the memory of all that died unjustly in Nigeria.
“Churches, mosques, synagogues and temples are encouraged to open their places of worship on theÂ midnightÂ of theÂ 29th of MayÂ for specialÂ midnightprayers in remembrance of all that died as a result of violence. Special vigil will be held at the homes of select Biafran heroes.
“30th of MayÂ is an annual remembrance event initiated by IPOB worldwide to honour our fallen Biafran soldiers without whom this generation of Biafrans would not have existed. We owe our heroes of the class of 67-70 an incalculable debt of gratitude and shall honor them annually until the end of time. We shall never forget them!”
It called on its members in the diaspora to ensure full rally on the streets of their respective countries with written petitions which would be submitted to the nearest United Nation offices and embassies of foreign missions in those countries.