Despite Buhari’s warning, IPOB insists Anambra election won’t hold if Nnamdi Kanu isn’t released

President Muhammadu Buhari had said that the election must take place even if Anambra needed to be overwhelmed with security presence.

IPOB Leader, Nnamdi Kanu and President Muhammadu Buhari (Peoples Gazette)

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has threatened that the November 6 governorship election in Anambra state won’t hold if its detained leader, Nnamdi Kanu is not released before the election.

In a statement signed by its Media and Public Secretary, Emma Powerful on Saturday, the proscribed group announced its readiness to shut down the southeast region on Friday, November 5, the eve of the election.

The statement reads in part, “Following the adjournment of our great leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s court case to November 10, 2021, by the Federal High Court Abuja, we, the great movement and family of the Indigenous People of Biafra, wish to inform Biafrans, friends of Biafra and lovers of freedom that IPOB will lock down Biafraland from November 5 to November 10 except Sunday, November 7th, a day our people worship the almighty God, if the Nigerian Government fails to release our leader unconditionally before 4th of November 4, 2021.”

The group said the sit-at-home protests would go as planned if by Thursday, November 4, 2021, the Federal Government fails to release Kanu, who is facing trial on a seven-count amended charge bordering on treason and terrorism.

The Federal Government had blamed many attacks and killings in the southeast on IPOB leader.

The FG believes Kanu was responsible for the killing of Dr. Chike Akunyili the husband of a former Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, late Prof. Dora Akunyili; Ahmad Gulak and over 184 others in the southeast.

On Thursday, October 21, 2021, Kanu was arraigned at a Federal High Court, Abuja, but journalists were prevented from entering the court to cover the proceedings.

When the charges leveled against him were read to him, the IPOB leader pleaded not guilty. The case was thereafter, adjourned till November 10.

However, despite President Muhammadu Buhari’s warning to service chiefs that the November 6 governorship election in Anambra must hold as scheduled, IPOB is threatening to shut down the whole of southeast ahead of the election.

The president had said that the election must take place even if Anambra needed to be overwhelmed with security presence.

National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno recently said the president gave the order due to the heightened security challenges in Anambra.

He said, “The president has directed that under no circumstances will anything be allowed to stop the elections from taking place successfully. The people have a right to vote and select their leader.

No group or individual will be allowed to stimulate anarchy and chaos, leading to murderous activities.

“The president has made it very clear that the armed forces and all law enforcement agencies must make sure that the elections take place, even if it means overwhelming the entire environment with the presence of security agencies.

The apex pan-Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has warned that nothing should threaten the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra.

In an interview with Punch, Chief Alex Ogbonnia, the spokesperson for the group warned all parties to tread with caution, saying it would be unwise to stop the polls.

Ogbonna urges “everybody to show maturity and wisdom especially in issues concerning the Indigenous People of Biafra.”

He added that “The November 6 Anambra governorship election is very important to all Ndigbos, because the state is the economic live wire of the Igbo”.

According to him, anything that disrupts the election is not in the interest of the Igbo.

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