A one- week sit- at- home exercise planned by the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) would have made the Anambra elections set for Saturday a little more difficult than usual.
On Monday, IPOB issued a standing sit- at- home order, encouraging supporters of the group as well as inhabitants of Nigeria’ s south- eastern states to cancel any plans and remain at home on certain days.
The demonstration was intended to draw attention to what the group believes to be the illegal incarceration of its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
Although the government showed little interest in the sit- at- home order, the group persisted and decreed that all residents of Anambra should remain indoors from November 5 to November 10, 2021, a week- long exercise that would have hampered the gubernatorial elections in Anambra State, which were scheduled for the 6th of November.
Security agents were actively mobilized to ” guarantee that peace and order will be maintained during the voting process” once the government became aware of the situation.
President Muhammadu Buhari met with the heads of the country’ s security forces ahead of the Anambra governorship election on November 6. Nearly 35, 000 police officers and other high- ranking police officers, including a Deputy Inspector General of Police, have been authorized by the Inspector- General of Police to ensure the preservation of peace and order.
Since the gubernatorial election, the atmosphere in Anambra has been heated, with some residents stating that they would rather stay in their homes than come out to exercise their constitutional right to vote for their preferred candidate.
Observers were keeping their eyes peeled to see how things would turn out. Several news outlets obtained a statement from the US Embassy in Anambra on Wednesday, titled ” Statement on the upcoming Anambra elections, ” in which the embassy encouraged citizens, electoral officials, party members, and security force personnel to do their part in ensuring that the elections were fair, transparent, and secure.
As a result, IPOB has lifted the order to stay at home, allowing citizens of Anambra to cast their ballots without fear of retaliation from the government. This must have required a lot of guts for a group that has been criticized for being self- centered in their desire to split Nigeria or for failing to consider the consequences of their actions.
The group emphasized in a statement that their sit- in is just to express their opposition to Nnamdi Kanu’ s incarceration and that they will not be participating in any other activities. It does not intend to have a detrimental impact on either the democratic process or the livelihoods of the citizens.
Moreover, the group asserts that it has no interest in the political process or in the outcome of the elections because it will not be involved in attaining their objectives.
The order to stay at home, on the other hand, would have restricted the voters’ freedom of movement, denying them the opportunity to exercise their civic right to vote.
In a society where poverty abounds, dealing with the economic ramifications of a week- long stay at home would have been extremely tough.
A large number of people make their living through daily economic activities, which will be negatively impacted if the sit- at- home rule is implemented.
While the southeast governors asserts that it is acting in the interests of the people, carrying out the order will simply exacerbate the suffering of the people.
Aside from that, there have been instances of violence directed at people who disobeyed previous instructions to stay at home. This is a big source of concern, and it explains why so many individuals followed the orders.
Because of the large number of security agents in the state, it is possible that a violent reaction would have occurred on voting day, a situation that has fortunately been avoided.
Keeping the group’ s claim that they are fighting for their people is critical to the group’ s continued existence.
A democratic government is usually referred to as the ” government of the people, ” and any party that acts in a way that hinders the advancement of democracy will find it difficult to gain the trust of the general public.
It doesn’ t matter whether or not people support IPOB’ s agitation, if the sit- at- home order had been followed, it may have made the polls on Saturday more contentious and difficult to conduct.
However, the group may have taken several factors into consideration and decided that the exercise may have done more harm than good in the end.