IPOB’s ‘sit at home’ garbage must end, By Yemi Adebowale

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For five days, December 9 to 14, the South-east was again the scene of blood and tears, with terrorists loyal to Simon Ekpa’s faction of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) enforcing a pointless five-day sit-at-home decreed by the scoundrel. As usual, while the terrorists went about killing and maiming, security agents failed the people. Three persons, including a pregnant woman, were killed in Enugu State by the lunatics enforcing Ekpa’s order. The poor pregnant woman came for early morning market, in a bid to feed her family, but ended up in the grave.

A video of the two other Enugu State victims lying lifeless, in a pool of blood, in front of the Enugu University Teaching Hospital, left me thoroughly dejected. Policemen in Enugu State blatantly left many disappointed. In the case of the attack on New Market, the terrorists (10 of them) entered the place to shut it and kill traders that refused to obey the “stay at home” order. One would think that policemen patrolling the market area, with instruction to reassure the traders of their safety, would confront the terrorists. Sadly, they fled. No reinforcement came and the terrorists confidently set ablaze the police patrol vehicle at the scene. How will law-abiding citizens resist Ekpa’s evil/illegitimate order and go about their lawful businesses when the police can’t guarantee their safety? This is so disheartening.

In Ebonyi State, the terrorists set ablaze a vehicle and some motorcycles at Nwakpu Market in Ndufu Alike, Ikwo LG. The driver of the vehicle set ablaze was shot as he attempted to put out the fire. This market is just a few metres away from the state’s deputy governor’s house and Alex Ekwueme Federal University, yet, the extremists operated freely.

The IPOB terrorists operating in Mbaitoli near Owerri, Imo State, killed Prince Iheme, the elder brother of Nollywood actor, Osita Iheme, aka Pawpaw, on the first day of the “sit at home.” The victim was shot dead while riding in the same vehicle with the state’s Commissioner for Solid Minerals, Martins Eke. Eke received machete cuts from the attackers. A policeman was also shot dead at 7up Junction, in Orji while four people were killed along Owerri-Okigwe Road on that same December 9.

The same Ekpa’s terrorists attacked the Imo State headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Owerri last Monday. This office, a high security zone, was attacked with so much ease. Buildings and vehicles in the compound were set ablaze. This is shocking and can only happen in Nigeria. Somebody should be penalised for this carelessness. Surprisingly, nothing along this line has happened days after the attack. That was why the Imo State Police Command boldly went about telling Nigerians cock and bull stories after shamelessly failing to defend the INEC office.

As long as the police can’t protect citizens, this boloney called “sit at home” will persist. Most people stay indoors for fear of attack. Commercial and economic activities were grounded by Ekpa’s terrorists because of the failings of the police and other security agencies. Economies of South-east states have been crippled by this unending twaddle. Every Monday “sit at home” by Nnamdi Kanu’s faction of the IPOB is still alive. Many are living like refugees and always in fear as terrorists unleash mayhem on the whole region.

This nonsense must stop. Bloodshed and destruction must end in this region. The South-east governors should strappingly lead the resistance against “sit at home,” by Ekpa and Nnamdi Kanu. They must ensure that commercial activities take place on “sit at home” days by mobilising security for the people. Governors should fix some state functions for “sit at home” days and turn their Ebubeagu guns on terrorists who come out to resist it. I challenge them to go after the terrorists in their hideouts with Ebubeagu. These governors should also mobilise federal security agencies with their security votes, to tame the guerrillas.

The Igbo socio-political organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, was apt when it recently called on South-east governors to take steps to end the “sit-at-home” order forced on residents by terrorists. The organisation agrees that the menace is crippling the economy and destroying lives. Its National Publicity Secretary, Dr Chiedozie Ogbonnia wants the governors to end the activities of terrorists.
Ogbonnia said: “This is the first time I am seeing freedom fighters or whatever, facing the barrel of the gun inwards, crippling the economy and destroying people. What is going on is very strange. Some of them think that by chanting, ‘Biafra Biafra,’ they will become Ojukwu. Unfortunately, they don’t know how we got here. I don’t understand how somebody can wake up from his house and begin to chant Biafra. It is nonsense.

“Anyone who wants Biafra should let us discuss, to know whether we are embarking on it or not. This Biafra has created problems for us in the South-east. It is crippling our economy, creating militancy and also unnecessary restiveness among the youth. It’s painful that somebody can wake up to begin to broadcast a sit-at-home order. We condemn it vehemently and we ask that people should go about their businesses. The government of the South-east should rise to the occasion and ensure that citizens and businesses are protected.”

The evil called Simon Ekpa is living in Finland in peace and inflicting pain on his people at home. Kudos to Nigerians all over the world for signing a petition appealing to the Finnish government, Nigerian government and the European Union to arrest Ekpa, the devil behind bloodbath in the South-east. Signatories are now in thousands.

The petition reads, “One Simon Ekpa (also known as Ifeanyi Njoku), a Nigerian living in Finland and holding Finnish citizenship, has by proxies, successfully established and coordinated an armed rebel group in Eastern Nigeria whom he now wields to destroy lives, property, and businesses in Eastern Nigeria.

“Simon is a separatist fighting for state secession but has never been brave enough to come home and lead the war from the front in Nigeria. He is rather igniting and fueling terror on his ethnic group who decline his call for secession. Simon’s action is stirring up bloodbath – a genocide in the region, and innocent women, children, the aged and youths are the victims dying daily.”

I’m encouraging more Nigerians to sign this petition to prick the conscience of the government of Finland. As for the Nigerian government, it must intensify diplomatic efforts to repatriate the wicked Ekpa. He must be brought home to account for his crime against humanity.

Source: First published in Thisday Newspaper

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