The Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, has warned workers against complying with the sit-at-home order by the pro-Biafra group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) scheduled for today (Wednesday)
The governor reminded the workers their responsibility and to Anambra people, warning them to be at their duty posts or be sanctioned.
It would be recalled that IPOB had designated today a work-free day for all people and friends of the Igbo extraction. The sit-at-home order was in commemoration of the 51st anniversary of the declaration of the sovereign state of Biafra by the Biafran warlord, late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu.
They called for the closure markets, banks and state secretariats in the Igbo speaking states while workers should remain in their houses for the celebration.
Anambra workers were already jubilating over the sit-at-home order when a memo went viral on the social media, asking the workers to report to the office today or be punished.
The memo which was allegedly signed by the Anambra state Head of Service, Barr. Harry Udu reads: “HE, Governor of ANS has directed that work resumes on Wednesday, May 30 after the public Holiday on 29 May. All public servants must therefore report to their duty on Wed and rest of the week.
“PSs and Heads of MDAs should monitor and report compliance unfailingly. Please circulate to all your staff”
The Chief Press Secretary to Governor Willie Obiano, Mr. James Eze, when contacted, denied knowledge of such memo from the Head of Service, wondering why workers should not report to their duty posts on May 30.
“There is no need informing workers to come to work tomorrow (May 30) since May 29 was the official public holiday granted to them.
I do not see any reason why people will not come to work because they know that today (May 29) is the only public holiday. I decline to believe that there is need to threaten or inform civil servants to come to work tomorrow. But I will call back once I get across to the head of service,” he said.
In another development, the Anambra State Police Command has frowned at a report by a national daily (not Orient Daily) that no fewer than 2,000 members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) took to the streets and roads of Onitsha to sensitise the public on the sit- at- home order slated for today.
A statement issued yesterday by the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Haruna Mohammed, titled “Re: IPOB storms Onitsha, mobilises for sit-at-home”, noted that the pro-Biafra group was still a proscribed organisation, insisting that all its activities remained illegal.
“The publication is not only fictitious but also mischievously orchestrated by those elements who are not happy with the prevailing peace in the state which the Police and other law enforcement agencies are working tirelessly to maintain.
“The Commissioner of Police Anambra State Command, CP Garba Baba Umar, once again enjoined all the good people of the state to disregard alleged calls by any group urging them to sit at home on the 30/5/2018 and go about their lawful businesses.
“The CP further assured the public that adequate security arrangements have been put in place by combined security forces in the state to proactively nip in the bud any threat emanating from such groups,” it said.
The statement maintained that the command would not hesitate to deal decisively with, and in accordance with the law, any individual or groups under any guise that will disrupt public peace in the state.
It would be recalled that the Chief Ralph Uwazurike-led Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), otherwise called Biafra Independent Movement (BIM) earlier raised alarm that 120 of its members sustained various degrees of injuries during the procession marking the 18th anniversary of the declaration of new Biafra at Aba, Abia state by the MASSOB-BIM leader, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike. The group also said that the death rose from three to six.
The Anambra Central Zonal Leader, Chief James Ezeani, disclosed this, reminding the soldiers in Onitsha that the seven-day ultimatum to hand over the corpses of its three members allegedly killed during the celebration still stands.
Ezeani stated that the 52 members of MASSOB-BIM arrested and released during the celebration does not mean that the number of detained members had been released.
“Scores are still being detained at the Onitsha 302 Military Cantonment and they should release them forthwith,” he said.
Also speaking, the MASSOB-BIM zonal leader of Anambra North, Damian Nzekwe, disclosed that the three members who died later, after the earlier recorded three deaths, died in the hospitals where they were taken to fearing that more may die.
“Presently we have recorded over 120 injured members and those of them who sustained severe injuries had since been placed on danger list indifferent hospitals”, he added.
Earlier in his speech, the Anambra North zonal leader, Tony Nwodo, said, “some of those injured by the ‘joint show of force taskforce’, are still in different hospitals recuperating while others are still in pains.
He reiterated that no amount of intimidation and blackmail by the Federal Government would deter a non-violent body fighting to actualise a Biafran state.
He paid tribute to the founder and leader of MASSOB-BIM, Chief Ralph Uazuruike for his zeal in fighting for the betterment of Igbos both in Nigeria and in the Diaspora.