Four-day lockdown looms in southeast as Nnamdi Kanu trial resumes

There are indications that people in the southeast could be forced to observe a four-day lockdown from Monday as IPOB chief Nnamdi Kanu’s treason trial is set to resume in a High Court Federal Abuja.

Mr. Kanu is due to appear in court from January 18 to 20.

The IPOB, an illegal group spearheading agitation for the establishment of an independent state, Biafra, of southeastern Nigeria and part of south-south, had suspended its sit-at-home order from last Monday, preferably for him (the order) to be implemented only on the days when Mr. Kanu appears in court.

The region will likely observe the sit-at-home order on affected days, in addition to Monday, despite its suspension.

The court in November adjourned Mr. Kanu’s trial until January after Mr. Kanu’s lawyers staged a walkout. The lawyers had accused Nigeria’s secret police, SSS, of preventing them from entering the courtroom.

Despite its suspension, residents of the five southeastern states – Enugu, Ebonyi, Anambra, Imo and Abia – continued to observe the Monday sit-at-home order, mainly out of fear.

Some residents and motorists were attacked recently in the area by armed men for leaving their homes on Monday in “violation” of the “suspended” order.

PREMIUM TIME, last Monday, reported on the shootings in parts of Enugu and Anambra states by suspected IPOB members trying to force a return to the suspended sit-at-home order.

Business owners express their fears

A commercial bus driver in Enugu, Joachim Nebo, fears huge losses in the coming days from the sit-at-home order.

Mr Nebo told PREMIUM TIMES he would certainly not earn enough money to pay his children’s school fees if residents were not allowed out for their daily activities.

“It’s the start of the term. My children have returned to school, but the tuition has not been paid. At the end of this week now, the teachers will start chasing them to bring the tuition .Where can we get this?” he said.

Ifeanyi Igwe, a businessman who sells agrochemicals in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, is sad that his proposed trip to buy goods next week did not materialize.

He said he is sure to lose at least N130,000 if residents are prevented from going out on their business for that number of days.

Arinze Ajaezu, who sells computer accessories at the main market in Onitsha, Anambra state, said he stands to lose a huge amount of money if the state is locked down for four days.

READ ALSO: We will ensure Nnamdi Kanu’s rights are respected – Abia Govt

“As a businessman, it will affect me very well,” he said.

In Aba, the trading town of Abia state, Ifeanyi Chukwu, a businessman who sells fabrics, said it could become difficult for people to even feed their families if businesses are crippled in the country. ‘State.

IPOB position

IPOB spokeswoman Emma Powerful said on Saturday that the sit-at-home order in the area is only for Tuesday January 18 and the other two days on which Mr Kanu will appear in court are excluded in order not to “aggravate”. the pains of the people.

Residents, however, will likely stay off the streets on Mondays, and possibly other days, for fear of being attacked.

The agitation for Biafra led to several killings and destruction in the Southeast.

Some Southeast leaders have lobbied of President Muhammadu Buhari administration to release Mr. Kanu from detention to pave the way for talks that could end insecurity in the region. The president, however, said he would not interfere in the legal process.

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Elna M. Lemons