Police tell Anambra residents to ignore IPOB's May 30 sit-at-home order

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IPOB issued a May 30 sit-at-home order earlier this month but the Anambra Police Command has urged residents to disregard it. The Anambra State Police Command has urged residents of the state to disregard a sit-at-home order announced by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a separatist group. IPOB, which has relentlessly advocated for secession of the southeast region from the rest of Nigeria, announced earlier this month that May 30 would serve as a day of remembrance across the southeast for its fallen heroes. The group's spokesperson, Emma Powerful, declared that there would be no human or vehicular movements across Biafraland on that day. However, in a statement signed by the spokesperson of the Anambra command, Haruna Mohammed, on Wednesday, May 15, 2019, residents are encouraged to go about their lawful business and disregard the order. The statement read, "Information at the disposal of the Anambra State Police Command has revealed that the outlawed group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), is perfecting plans through public announcement and threats in Nnewi and other parts of the State in order to enforce a "SIT AT HOME ORDER" warning people to stay at home and not to come out for any business activities on the 30/5/2019. "For the avoidance of doubt, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is still a proscribed organisation hence all its activities remains illegal." The separatist group was branded a terrorist organisation by the Federal Government and had its activities proscribed after a series of high-profile clashes with the Nigerian Army in 2017.  During his announcement, Powerful encouraged religious centres to open their places of worship on the midnight of May 29 for special prayers "in remembrance of all that died as a result of violence and sponsored killing". He also disclosed that special vigils will be held at the homes of select Biafran heroes and heroines "who were murdered in cold blood in Biafraland". "This year's remembrance and sit-at-home order will be special because it will present a unique moment of shared pains and misery for all the families that lost their loved ones to war, hunger, starvation, disease, terrorism and state sponsored killings going on now in Nigeria. "We remember the heroic few that stood up against tyranny especially those that sacrificed their lives to defend the defenseless and those that lost their lives because there was no one to defend them," Powerful said. In his Wednesday statement, Mohammed warned that the authorities will not hesitate to deal decisively with any individuals or groups that attempt to disrupt public peace in Anambra.

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