There is a total halt of economic activities in major cities of the Eastern Nigeria today Friday September 14, 2018 resulting from the General Strike action ordered by the Eastern Nigeria Nnamdi Kanu led movement known as the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The group through a press statement signed and made available to news men by her media and publicity secretary Comrade Emma Powerful, announced that there will be general strike action slated for Friday 14th September, 2018.
According to the message made available to press, the Indigenous People of Biafra intended to use the opportunity provided by the September 14th General Strike action to mourn all the people allegedly killed by Nigeria Army during Operation Python which was aimed to tame the activities of the IPOB secessionist group a year ago in the South Eastern part of Nigeria. He also noted that, the people of ‘Biafra’ which means people of Eastern Nigeria will also use the opportunity of the General Strike action to remember those he described as ‘saboteurs’ undermining the struggle of the Nigerian separatist movement on her way to securing the independent Biafran State.
Reports from across different cities of Eastern Nigeria have it that streets, major ways, expressways, markets, schools and banks were deserted by residents in major cities like Port Harcourt, Yenegoa, Uyo, Aba, Onitsha, Asaba, Owerri, Abakaliki, Enugu and Umuahia in compliance with the General Strike action ordered by group. There were however some reported cases of non-compliance in some places. The group however described the event as successful.
The Nigerian Armed forces had earlier dismissed the idea of this activity holding calling the group a proscribed entity. The government of Nigeria had on September 20th 2017 proscribed the activities of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) all over Nigeria and designated the organization as a terrorist organization in a bid to checkmate her activities. However, the reactions which came from different governments and organizations of the world rejecting the unilateral designation of the separatist movement as a terrorist organization by Nigeria Government. The Government of The United States of America, United Kingdom and European Union authorities said that IPOB is not a terrorist organization judging by their respective domestic laws and conventions. The legal team of the Nigerian based separatist movement led by Hon Ifeanyi Ejiofor challenged the unilateral designation of the separatist movement as a terrorist organization in Nigeria Federal High Court presided over by Justice Abdul Kafarati and the unilateral designation was upheld by Justice Abdul Kafarati.
Economic experts in Nigeria have forecasted the estimated economic loss which will result from the General Strike deviant order of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to hit between 29 and 35 Billion Naira during the hours which the General Strike will last. Nigerian government actually put in different mechanisms to stop the ‘needless’ General Strike action when it was announced by IPOB leadership but all the efforts did not record much success as the people obeyed the sit-at-home order.
The indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB) has been accusing The Nigerian Government and her forces of capturing her missing leader who has not been seen or heard from since September 2017 when Nigerian Army allegedly his invaded his residence and allegedly killed 28 persons according to the report given by the organization.
However, Nigerian Army has denied capturing nor detaining Nnamdi Kanu. As it is at the moment, the world has started asking questions about Biafra agitation and why the continued holding of the people since they have openly declared that they are no more interested in Nigeria.
Could the General Strike action which took place all over the Eastern Nigeria push Nigeria government into negotiation with the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to avert such national economic losses in the future or any time IPOB Sit at Home directives take place in the Eastern Nigeria, we are keeping our fingers crossed.
It is important to note as that there are several other secessionist groups all over Africa. There is the Casamanca secessionists in Southern Senegal, The Ambazonia secessionists in South Western Cameroon.