Following the vow by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, to shut down activities in the Southeast in solidarity with its detained leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the annual Independence Day celebration may take a new dimension in the region.
this year in some parts of the country particularly the Southeastern region following the vow by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB to shut down activities in solidarity with its detained leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu
Nnamdi Kanu for weeks has been in the custody of the Department of State Services, DSS after he was arrested in a neighbouring African country.
Recalls that the secessionists’ group had through a statement on Saturday by its spokesman, Emma Powerful vowed to enforce a sit-at-home in the entire region on October 1st, saying there would be operation no Nigerian flag in Biafra land.
According to the statements, residents of the region were warned to steer clear of the streets as there would be no movements.
The statement reads in part: “IPOB has declared 1st of October 2021 total shutdown in Biafra land as a sign of our rejection of the evil construct called Nigeria and there shall be no movement in Biafra land on this day.
“Everybody must strictly adhere to this directive from IPOB leadership, we want to let the world know that Biafraland is not Nigeria and shall not be. Don’t say I don’t know, a word is enough for the wise.”
Also on Tuesday, the separatist group called on agitators of Oduduwa Republic, and Middle Belt and other allegedly “oppressed tribes” in the country to join in shutting down Nigeria on October 1.
Emma Powerful said, “Following our earlier declaration of October 1st sit at home order issued by the leadership of the Indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB), all Nigerian oppressed tribes should reject the Nigerian government’s evil agenda against the indigenous peoples.
“We, the global family of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), request our brothers and sisters in Oduduwa republic and Middle Belt who suffer a similar fate with us to join hands in sympathy protest.”
DAILY POST reports that the moves and threats have triggered tension in many parts of the region as shops, offices began to shut down about 12 hours before Independence Day.
A trader in the popular Onitsha market, Emeka Andrew, told DAILY POST that there was panic buying of food and other essential items on Thursday as there would be no movement on Friday (Independence Day).
He said, “Nobody is coming out tomorrow because no one wants to die. We all saw what happened in the previous time when such declarations were made by the IPOB so we are all doing everything possible to prevent that. I’m closing my shop anything 4pm.
“On a normal note, even on Christmas Day, we are always here but this has to do with life and death and some of us have chosen life. Whatever you don’t buy today, you may not get it until next week. Who knows what would still happen on Monday?”
Similarly, a corps member who identified herself as Ene, serving in Anaocha Local Government Area of the state, expressed fear of attack, saying she has resolved to suspend all activities and stay-at-home.
“I don’t want any story that touch, so I have cancelled all my usual activities pending when normalcy return to the state”.
However, speaking with DAILY POST, the state’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Ikenganyia T. Anthony said the command has established an intensive patrol and surveillance to ensure peace and order in the state on Independence Day.
He said, “We have extended our patrol and for us, we are concentrating on our primary duties which include the protection of lives and properties. So there is intensive patrol and surveillance going on”.
In the same vein, a civil servant in Ebonyi State who preferred not to be mentioned in print for fear of victimization told DAILY POST that there is “fear in the land” as the government prepares for the Independence celebration.
“Although Ebonyi State is not like other parts of the region, there is fear in the state currently. Some unscrupulous persons are taking advantage of the peace in this place to penetrate and unleash havoc”.
But the spokesperson of the Ebonyi State Police Command, DSP Odah Loveth told DAILY POST correspondent on phone, that there is calm everywhere, stressing that “everyone is going about his or her businesses in the state”.
She said, “There is nothing like the activities of IPOB in Ebonyi and we are not going to allow that. The commissioner of police has assured adequate security.
“You know that Ebony is going to be 25 years old tomorrow so we are preparing for the jubilee and Nigeria at 61.
“We will not allow anybody to take this Happy moment from us. The public areas will be occupied by us. The police and other security agencies in Ebonyi State will do everything possible to ensure that the state is very peaceful.
“The residents have also promised us that they will comply with the security agencies and that they will report every criminal activity to us”.
DAILY POST’s observation revealed that parts of Imo State particularly the Orlu where the Eastern Security Network wing of the IPOB camps, have been enveloped by tension.
A resident who begged not to be mentioned, said shops and offices are being shut down already as of 4pm on Thursday.
However, Prince Marcillinus Nlemigbo, Imo State chairman of the All Progressive Congress, APC who spoke exclusively to DAILY POST on Thursday, said there is nothing like security change in the state stressing that the Independence Day celebration must hold.
He said there would be movement in all parts of the state tomorrow, stressing that the governor had assured residents of adequate security.
His words,” We felicitate with Imolites and Nigerians in general on this occasion of Nigeria at 61, we wish to reiterate our call for unity as well as political and religious tolerance amongst Nigerians. ”
“It is our common faith that our strength as a nation lies in our diversity. We must continue to respect our plurality and ethnoreligious and political differences to achieve a peaceful and prosperous nation on the sacred foundation of justice, equity and fairness. God bless you all.”
#EndSARS anniversary: Police Occupy Lekki Toll Gate, Others, Activists Set For Protest [PHOTOS]
There are strong indications that security agents and protesters will clash in many cities across the country today (Wednesday) as activists and youths insist on gathering in public spaces to commemorate the first year anniversary of the #EndSARS protests, which rocked the nation last year.
For instance, heavily armed police personnel, on Tuesday, took over the Lekki tollgate area, which was the hotbed of last year’s protests.
The PUNCH also learnt that some policemen in plain clothes would join the protesters in a bid to monitor them closely.
DPR, PPPRA, PEF Scrapped As FG Sacks CEOs, Inaugurates New Agencies
The Department of Petroleum Resources, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency and the Petroleum Equalisation Fund are all officially scrapped and do not exist anymore, the Federal Government said on Monday.
It also said while workers of the three agencies would be protected, their chief executives had been relieved of their various appointments.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, stated this while speaking on the side-lines of the inauguration of the boards of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority and the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission in Abuja.
He explained that with the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act, the NPRA and NURC had taken over the functions of the DPR, PPPRA and PEF.
Responding to a question on what would happen to DPR following the inauguration of the board of NURC, Sylva said, “It is now a matter of law.
“The law states that all the assets and even the staff of the DPR are to be invested on the commission and also in the authority. So that means the DPR doesn’t exist anymore.
“And, of course, the law specifically repeals the DPR Act, the Petroleum Inspectorate Act, the Petroleum Equalisation Fund Act and the PPPRA Act. The law specifically repeals them. It is very clear that those agencies do not exist anymore.”
On what would happen to the chief executives and employees of DPR, PEF and PPPRA, the minister replied, “The law also provides for the staff and the jobs in those agencies to be protected.
“But I’m sure that that doesn’t cover, unfortunately, the chief executives, who were on political appointments.”
He stated that the process for aligning the workers of the defunct agencies with the new regulatory bodies had already commenced, as the staff had to be rationalised.
Sylva said, “The authority has its staff coming from the defunct PEF, PPPRA and DPR. The commission has staff coming over from DPR and the process is going on for the next few weeks.”
Sylva stated that the inauguration of the boards on Monday marked the beginning of the successor agencies.
He said, “The PIA provides for the upstream regulatory commission and the establishment of the midstream and downstream authority.
“So far, the chief executives of these agencies have not been in place, but of course, Mr President in his wisdom made the appointment a few weeks ago and they went through a rigorous process of confirmation at the National Assembly.
“The agencies have now taken off because they now have clear leadership and today’s event marks that beginning for the new agencies.”
He further stated that with the passage of the PIA into law, after spending over 20 years in the process, the coast was now clear for investors to fully invest in Nigeria’s oil sector.
“Today, the PIA has clarified the legal framework around the sector and the agencies are now in place. So I don’t see anything now stopping investors from coming,” the minister stated.
He said competent hands were now handling the business, adding, “Nigerians should brace up for exponential growth in the oil and gas sector.”
The Chief Executive, NURC, Gbenga Komolafe, said the commission would deliver on its mandate as captured in the new petroleum Act.
“Nigerians should expect massive deliverables in the sense that the PIA has ended the regime of uncertainty in terms of the governance of the industry,” he said.
He also said the commission would ensure that the country hits its OPEC quota in crude oil production, as the NURC would be an enabler of investments.
EndSARS: Police Warn Against Protest In Oyo
Oyo State Police command, on Tuesday, said that it will not allow anyone to organize any protest in the state.
The police made this disclosure while reacting to a protest, which has been scheduled to hold in commemoration of the anniversary of End SARS protest in the state.
DAILY POST correspondent recalls that the End SARS protest, which was organised by youths in October last year, was held in order to protest against police brutality.
It was gathered that no fewer than five police officers died during the protest in the state last year.
Several properties were also destroyed during the protests.
The state police command has, however, advised youths not to organise any commemorative protest in Oyo State.
Commissioner of Police, Ngozi Onadeko, who spoke on Tuesday, noted that the police in the state has uncovered a plan to organise the maiden anniversary of the protests.
Onadeko in a statement signed by Public Relations Officer of the command, Adewale Onadeko, urged parents and guardians to warn their wards against being used by merchants of anarchy.
He said that the police would use all legal means to prevent such protests.
He maintained that violators would be sanctioned and prosecuted.
“Consequent upon this, the Commissioner of Police, Oyo State Police Command, Ngozi Onadeko fdc, is appealing to individual(s), groups and most importantly architects of these sinister plans, to have a rethink as the Command would not hesitate to use any legitimate means necessary within the ambit of the law to enforce sanity and prevent needless loss of lives and wanton destruction of private and public properties including critical government infrastructures which could emanate from the proposed protests.
“In furtherance to the above, the Commissioner of Police has directed extensive visibility and aggressive patrols by Area commanders and Divisional Police Officers while adequate deployment of operational, intelligence and tactical assets would be strategically positioned across every nook and cranny of the State to compliment and neutralize any threat or act(s) capable of truncating the relative calm enjoyed by the citizenry.
“Furthermore, Parents, guardians and leaders that wield various degrees of influence in religious, educational and traditional capacities are passionately advised to warn their wards and proteges against being used by merchants of anarchy as violators would be thoroughly sanctioned and prosecuted.”