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Residents Panic As IPOB Sit-At-Home Curfew Spreads To South-South

Residents are currently panicking as schools ordered students to stay at home in Delta State, South-South Nigeria.

Fears are rife in Asaba metropolis in Delta State as the controversial sit-at-home order by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) spreads to the South-South region of the country.

HumAngle learnt that many business activities were handicapped on Monday, May 16, 2022. Some parents also said schools in Asaba sent children back home earlier because of fear of possible attacks.

A resident of the city who identified himself as Sammy told HumAngle “The sit-at-home has spread to Asaba and the city is no longer safe even for residents who had to leave Onitsha in Anambra state to come live in Asaba.”

Another resident, Stephen Okiroro* who confirmed the development, said, “There was no movement at Asaba earlier today because of IPOB members’ order. Schools didn’t open and parents who sent their children to schools were told to take them back.”

Some Nigerians have also taken to social media, particularly Twitter to express their displeasure over the development. 

The sit-at-home enforcement is coming six days after the Delta State Police Command urged residents to ignore the order issued by ‘faceless persons.’

HumAngle contacted Edafe Bright, the state’s Police Spokesperson, for comments but he did not respond to calls and text messages. 

Declared as a terror group in 2018, IPOB, a separatist organisation is demanding the creation of an independent state of Biafra in the Old Eastern Region of Nigeria, comprising the current Southeast and South-south regions. 

The sit-at-home enforced by IPOB members is usually held in the Southeast and it is to demand the release of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu, who is currently in detention and charged with treasonable felony, unlawful possession of arms, and illegal importation of broadcast equipment at a Federal High Court in Abuja.

There have been concerns about the enforcement in South-South because violent activities of the non-state actors eclipsed communities and cities.

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Adejumo Kabir

Kabir works at HumAngle as the Editor of Southern Operations. He is interested in community development reporting, human rights, social justice, and press freedom. He was a finalist in the student category of the African Fact-checking Award in 2018, a 2019 recipient of the Diamond Awards for Media Excellence, and a 2020 recipient of the Thomson Foundation Young Journalist Award. He was also nominated in the journalism category of The Future Awards Africa in 2020. He has been selected for various fellowships, including the 2020 Civic Media Lab Criminal Justice Reporting Fellowship and 2022 International Centre for Journalists (ICFJ) 'In The Name of Religion' Fellowship.

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