As anxiety heightens ahead of the November 6 Anambra governorship election, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has appealed to the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to suspend its planned sit-at-home order.
IPOB had announced that it will lock down the South East if its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, currently standing treason trial, is not released from detention by November 4.
There were fears that the 5-day lockdown planned for November 5 to 10, as announced by IPOB’s spokesperson, Emma Powerful, will affect the Anambra governorship election billed for November 6.
In a statement on Wednesday, Ohanaeze spokesperson, Chiedozie Ogbonnia, said the planned 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.
The statement also drew attention to the implication of the shutdown on the economy of the state, which Ohanaeze said would be badly affected.
“While pleading with the IPOB to rescind the lockdown 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 the 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.”