The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has informed natives of South-Eastern Nigeria living in and/or running a business in Lagos State to pay no heed to Simon Ekpa’s sit-at-home directives.
Emma Powerful, spokesman for the IPOB, clarified matters on Wednesday, saying that Ekpa’s sit-at-home mandates did not come from the group. He, thus, warned those using the name of IPOB, Eastern Security Network (ESN) or Mazi Nnamdi Kanu to perpetrate crimes or declare movement restrictions to stop.
Ekpa, a popular pro-Biafra separatist agitator, had on Tuesday asked the Igbo who are residents in Lagos State to observe a sit-at-home.
According to him, the alleged post-election attacks on the Igbos and their businesses in the state have made it necessary to issue the order. He claimed that action if obeyed would cripple the state’s economy.
Ekpa, a self-proclaimed disciple of the detained IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, also claimed that the recent Balogun market fire on Lagos Island was a plan to destroy businesses owned by igbos in the state.
He reacted to the fire attack via Twitter on Tuesday, saying that his group was ready to provide security for Igbo businesses in Lagos until they would be moved to the South-East.
He wrote: “I have just watched another Igbo Biafra Market in Lagos being burnt down in Balogun, Lagos today, and I am very sad. Since after the election, Igbo Biafrans in Lagos and their businesses have been attacked and as I have said earlier, we can’t sit back and watch. As Biafrans in Lagos will be getting ready to return home with their businesses. To this end, we will activate sit-at-home for all Biafrans in Lagos.
“This sit-at-home is targeted at crippling the economy of the Lagos State government, whose body language has suggested to be directly responsible for the attack against Igbos.
“I, therefore, call on all Igbo market leaders in Lagos that we are ready to provide securities for all Igbo markets in Lagos pending when the businesses will be moved to the Eastern region. We will fortify all your markets against attackers. The underground work will start immediately. -ESN
“This sit-at-home, when activated, is applicable to every Biafran doing business in Lagos. Both shop owners, commercial bus drivers, etc.”
However, Powerful rejected being part of the stated plan, saying: “No sit-at-home order. IPOB did not issue any of such orders in Lagos. The people should ignore them and go about their normal business, we have always told them to ignore such senseless orders. But we are going to issue a full press release on that.
“Any group operating in whatever name or disguise outside IPOB and under the leadership of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and the Directorate of State (DOS) is on their own. We warn all and sundry to cease and desist from using the name of IPOB, ESN, M-Branch, or Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in their name or in any operation that they carry out.
“We again reiterate that IPOB is not part of the formation of the “kangaroo” Biafra government in exile anywhere. Also, there are no factions whatsoever in IPOB, and we do not have any links with autopilot groups.
“The people behind the shambolic Radio Biafra government in exile and senseless sit-at-home orders are not IPOB members, and they should stop linking themselves to IPOB. We have often made it clear to Biafrans that IPOB has no hand in the purported Biafra government in exile. Those piloting government in exile in the USA are not IPOB members, and they don’t mean well for Biafra’s freedom and restoration. They are politicians and not non-violent freedom-fighting movements like IPOB.
“IPOB is a peaceful movement and well rooted and focused on our set agenda focused on a Biafra referendum, which will culminate into our freedom. IPOB is not divided and cannot be divided until Biafra is restored through a referendum.
“Furthermore, IPOB has no plan to print Biafra currency, stamps, and other important state documents because we are not yet a sovereign nation. Those wild-goose chasers talking about the printing of Biafra currency with their faces on the currency are daydreamers. If we print currencies now, where can they be used as legal tender?
“Our people should stop following noisemakers who disguise as people in Biafra struggle to distract IPOB and call attention to themselves. Our people should stop being emotional about the Biafra Independence so that they don’t get fooled easily. There is time for everything as the struggle progresses. IPOB is carefully and patiently implementing every strategy toward our freedom.
“All we want is the unconditional release of our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, and a Biafra Referendum date. And that we must get as long as Elohim lives.”