An apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohaneze Ndigbo, has appealed to the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to call off its planned sit-at-home order.
IPOB had announced plans to lock down the South-East if its leader Nnamdi Kanu is not released from detention by November 4.
The group’s spokesman, Emma Powerful, noted the lockdown will be enforced between November 5 and 10.
The governorship election in Anambra state is billed to take place on November 6.
Commenting on the development in a statement issued on Wednesday, Chiedozie Ogbonnia, Ohanaeze spokesperson, said the lockdown may disrupt the election and cause “untold hardship” for the people in the south-east.
“The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide pleads with the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to reconsider the 7 days’ sit-at-home order in the south-east of Nigeria from November 5 to November 11. This is to enable the governorship election for Anambra State scheduled for November 6 to hold,” the statement reads.
“It is important to note that Anambra state is the economic live wire of the south-east with an impressive steady growth trajectory. For instance, Anambra state showcases the best rural road network and rural community development in the south-east if not in entire Nigeria.
“Anambra is home to the greatest number of small, medium and large scale industries in the south-east. Most recently, Anambra has added a cargo airport to its resource base. Above all, Onitsha is the largest market in West Africa.
“The implication of the above illustration is that Anambra state is the melting pot of Igbo traders and artisans. It stands to reason that Anambra is the big Iroko tree that provides a shade for most Igbos. Apart from the shade, it also hosts the numerous birds that perch on the branches. Therefore any harm to the Iroko tree will create untold disastrous chain reactions and catastrophe for the Igbo.
“While pleading with the IPOB to rescind the lock down plan, Ohanaeze Ndigbo requests the chairman, south-east Governors Forum and the Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. Dave Umahi to convene an emergency meeting of Igbo stakeholders and the Youth Leaders to address the legitimacy crisis in the south-east, especially as it relates to Anambra State election and the political solution for the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
“It is important to point out that one of the causes of the crisis of confidence in the South East is because of the yawning gap between the Youths and indeed the masses, on one side and the political leaders on the other.
“Therefore, the leadership of the various youth groups should not be excluded in any meeting aimed at resolving the current crises in Igbo Land. In other words, the Youths want to be fully convinced of our commitment to their plight.”