Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, called on residents of the state to ignore the sit-a- home order by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and go about their lawful duties, assuring that security agents were on red alert to arrest those who might want to breach the peace in the state.
Ikpeazu disclosed that the state government was in contact with Nnamdi Kanu’s family and was monitoring the situation to ensure that the IPOB leader got a fair trial.
The governor, however, warned that the Igbo must not be seen to be doing anything against the interest of the zone, stressing that students should be allowed to go to school, while people should go about their businesses.
He said: “Since this agitation started, the Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, which is the leading pan Igbo socio-cultural group, has expressed serious interest in making sure that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu gets fair judgment and a powerful delegation led by Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife was sent there and they are monitoring the trials.
“Our government is also monitoring and in contact with Kanu’s family and other concerned institutions. What it means is that collectively, all of us are interested that Nnamdi Kanu will be given a fair trial and if the interest of IPOB represents the interest of the masses of this geo political zone, it means we must not do anything that will seem as if we want to cut our nose to spite our face.
“What will be the logic behind asking our children not to go to school? On Monday, they will be writing Mathematics in NECO examination which is national. What will be the logic behind asking our people not to go out to eke out a living?
We are already crying that we are marginalized and also pressed hard by the consequences of COVID-19 and EndSARS protests. If our children and grandchildren become illiterates in the future, have we hurt our perceived enemies anywhere?
“Let me say this on record, if we have enemies anywhere, I believe there is a way to address them. If we have people that are waging war against us, and then our response is that we will not go to market and not to go to school, whatever they are doing to ensure that we behave in that way, they will do it.
So this will be counter-productive against Mazi Nnamdi Kanu because withholding him can affect our economic base and make us illiterates. I think it is not the right thing to do. Therefore, I will urge everybody to go about their normal business.”
On Ebubeagu set up by the South East Governors, Ikpeazu explained that the security outfit was designed to respond according to the peculiar circumstances of every state of the zone.
“Abia State Ebubeagu cannot reflect Ebonyi, Enugu, Anambra or Imo Ebubeagu because our security challenges are not the same both in diagnosis and outlook. They are different.
But we converge at a point where we want to share intelligence so that the identified criminals in those states are same. We can deploy economics of scale so that we can procure pieces of equipment that can serve our geopolitical zone without having to replicate expenditure in all the states.
“The strategic response is to provide the various security units with intelligence. So, I will not because I want to please my spectators begin to dance naked in the market.
“The spectators include those who want my survival and those who don’t. Those who expected us to bring out fierce looking people clad in lion skin and dance in the market square will not see such a thing. But we have mobilized them to work with modern equipment.”
“They are highly mobiled and we have worked out a communication channel to monitor every inch of our forests. We will continue to adjust until such a time we can say we are happy the deed has been done.”
“If the essence of Ebubeagu is to ensure peace and tranquility and ensure safety of lives and properties, then it is very effective in Abia because we have peace, tranquility and people are going about their businesses. Our Ebubeagu is working. If you want to see them, we will make them available for people to see but they will not dance naked in the market.”