There are strong indications that religious leaders, traditional rulers and government officials have been negotiating with the Nigerian government for the release of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
This was disclosed in a statement issued by IPOB on Thursday, announcing the suspension of its sit-at-home order across the South-East region.
IPOB, which had earlier vowed to shut down activities in ‘Biafraland’ (South-East) from November 5 to 10, cancelled the exercise on Thursday, adding that the interventions of Igbo stakeholders informed its action.
The group said it believes that the stakeholders will keep to their promise of seeking the unconditional release of Kanu.
Kanu has been detained by the Muhammadu Buhari-led government since his arrest and rendition to Nigeria from Kenya in June.
Kanu is standing trial for charges bordering on terrorism among others.
The statement said, “Following the genuine intervention of our elders, esteemed traditional Institutions /Rulers and Religious Leaders, and after a due consideration of the positive impacts of their engagement, and sequel to the fact that our elders have spoken in our terms, the Leadership of IPOB ably led by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu hereby and immediately calls off the one week sit-at-home earlier declared to commence tomorrow, November 5 to November 10, 2021.
“We have equally considered several appeals by our mothers who earn their living based on their daily economic activities which will obviously be affected if Biafra land is locked down for one whole week. It’s never our intention to add to the pains of our people, hence our decision to suspend the sit-at-home.
“IPOB leadership is only interested in our referendum and peaceful agitation for self determination, and can not by under any guise be seen to be interfering with any electoral process.
“The people of Anambra State should go out enmasse and peacefully exercise their franchise come 6th November 20121 and accordingly, chose a leader of their Choice and should not be intimidated by anybody, group of persons or security agents.”
It added, “Anambrarians should vote and standby to protect their votes. No rigging of any kind will be tolerated on the Anambra State governorship election. It must be transparent, free and fair to all.
“We wish to thank Biafrans, IPOB members worldwide, friends of Biafra and lovers of freedom for their continued support for our dogged struggle for independence.
“May we therefore, warn detractors, traitors and enemies of Biafra not to cause confusion by imputing motives to our decision. IPOB doesn’t expect anybody to observe, monitor or enforce the suspended order otherwise such action will be considered a rebellion to the highest leadership of our global movement.
“On the other hand, our oppressors should not take our decision as an act of cowardice. IPOB still believes that our elders, religious leaders, political leaders and various stakeholders will live up to their promises in their engagements and efforts towards securing the unconditional release of our leader.
“We therfore urge all Biafrans and residents of Biafra to go about their lawful businesses without fear of any molestations. All agents of darkness recruited by our enemies to inflict pains on our people under the guise of enforcing the sit-at-home are hereby warned to steer clear or brace up for the consequences of their evil action.
“IPOB will not relent in our pursuit for Biafra freedom. Nigeria government must give us date for Biafra referendum to decide where we want to belong.”