The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) are one of the prominent separatist group in Nigeria that has grown even more powerful and prominent over the past few months.
With Nnamdi Kanu as their leader, the group that has been proscribed by the Nigerian government is agitating for Biafra nation.
While their leader is currently in the custody of the federal government and awaiting trial, IPOB has in the past few months given some shocking orders in the southeast.
Here is a look at some of these directives issued by IPOB to residents in the Southeast.
In May 2021, IPOB, called for a total shut down of the entire ‘Biafraland’ Lagos, Abuja as well as northern towns with reasonable Biafran population.
The shutdown was in commemoration of Biafra Day according to a statement by the group’s Media and Publicity Secretary Emma Powerful.
The statement read in part. “Consequently, all commercial activities must be shut down on 31st of May throughout the land of Biafra. There should be no vehicular movement on that day on Biafra roads.
“Transport companies must withdraw from the road on that day. National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW); National Associations of Road Transport Owners (NURTO); and others are expected to fully comply with this directive.
“In the same vein, artisans and traders must close shop on that day. Airports, Seaports, Banks and financial institutions should all shut down in honour of our fallen heroes and heroines.
“Okada and Tricycles organizations are also advised to withdraw from roads on that day. There shall be no social gatherings or events including burials, weddings on that day from 6 am to 6 pm.
“Parents are advised not to send their children to school on that day as no one is expected to be seen outside. Full compliance is expected from all.
“Biafrans in Diaspora are to hold peaceful rallies in their countries of abode.”
While residents had thought that will be the end of the sit-at-home orders in the southeast, IPOB were just beginning.
In June 2021, Kanu was rearrested by the federal government.
Immediately after his arrest, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, said that Kanu would be taken before the Federal High Court in Abuja for continuation of his trial on charges bordering on terrorism, treasonable felony, unlawful possession of firearms and management of an unlawful society.
However, on the day he was supposed to appear in court, the DSS failed to produce him.
This was followed by several allegations that Nnamdi Kanu’s death was being plotted.
In solidarity with their leader who is in custody, the IPOB declared that they will be enforcing a lockdown every Monday in the southeast until its leader, Nnamdi Kanu is released from custody.
The lockdown was enforced for some weeks before it was finally called off after it led to bloodshed and destruction.
IPOP has, however, threatened to enforce a one-month lockdown if Kanu is not brought to court on October 21 by the federal government.
Banning Of Nigeria Flag By IPOB
In September 2021, IPOB also gave a shocking order towards the Independence day celebration.
October 1st is the day slated to celebrate Nigeria’s independence. It marks Nigeria’s proclamation of independence from British rule on 1 October 1960.
Over the years, the citizens of Nigeria have celebrated this day with a lot of activities ranging from government-sponsored to citizens-sponsored.
However, IPOB in a statement noted that they have rejected Nigeria and further banned the Nigerian flag in ‘biafraland’.
Giving its orders, IPOB said, “IPOB has declared 1st of October 2021 total shutdown in Biafraland as a sign of our rejection of Nigeria and there shall be no movement in Biafraland on this day. Also, IPOB has declared from today 25th September 2021 that all Nigerian flag mounted anywhere in Biafraland must be brought down, Banks exceptional, IPOB leadership will communicate to Banks directly and give them the reason they must peacefully bring down Nigeria flag in their banking premises before we do it ourselves in our own way.
“Everybody must strictly adhere to this directive from IPOB leadership, we want to let the world know you that Biafraland is not Nigeria and shall not be. Don’t say I don’t know, a word is enough for the wise.”
In another statement, the proscribed group said, “We advise all oppressed people in Nigeria to know that we are all victims of Fulani evil agenda which the federal government of Nigeria has been encouraging and supporting them to eliminate indigenous tribes and take over their ancestral lands.
“Our objective is to deliver all indigenous nationalities, so everybody must reject Nigeria with their impunity if we want to be free from Fulani subjugation. Nigeria is not worth celebrating and our children must be saved from the evil that is Nigeria. Our freedom is due and ready for us to take it.”
IPOB Bans Rearing & Consumption Of Cow Meat
In what comes as the most shocking order given by the proscribed group, IPOB recently banned rearing and consumption of ‘Fulani’ cattle in Igboland.
According to a statement by Mazi Chika Edoziem, who is said to be Head of IPOB’s Directorate of State, the “ban takes complete effect six months from 08/10/2021.”
Edoziem explained that from April 8, 2022, only the local breed would “be consumed and used for all ceremonies in Biafraland.”
He said, “8th April 2022 is the date. From that date, no more Fulani Cow shall be allowed into Biafraland for any reason, not for burials, title taking, weddings etc.
“Only Efi Igbo (Local Cow) shall be consumed and used for all ceremonies in Biafraland.”
The group’s Directorate of State further explained that the decision was taken following constant attacks on Igbos by suspected Fulani herdsmen, resulting in the killing and r*ping of South-East women and other forms of assaults.
This is coming amid reports that the governors from the southeast region of the country recently took a firm stand against IPOB after they had a meeting in Enugu.
During the meeting, it was decided that they will take necessary steps to ensure that IPOB’s sit-at-home orders in the region are discouraged.
The governors in a communique issued after the meeting lamented that most of the persons issuing the sit-at-home orders are not even based in Nigeria.
Hence, they do not understand the effects of such directives on ordinary citizens.
“The Governors and leaders of the South East condemned the killings in the region and have agreed to join hands with security agencies to stop the killings,” the communique reads.
“The meeting condemned the sit-at-home orders, which are mostly issued by our people in the diaspora who do not feel the pains. The meeting resolved that Governors and all people of the South East do everything within the law to ensure that there is no further sit-at-home in the South East and that people are allowed to freely move about in the zone.”