According to the Governor of Anambra State, Chukwuma Soludo, the leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has criticized the sit-at-home order and “sacrilegious killings” in the Southeast.
The governor said he visited Kanu on Friday and greeted him in high spirits in a post on his verified Facebook page on Saturday night.
The governor’s visit was part of a larger series of meetings with key stakeholders aimed at achieving long-term peace and security in the region.
Kanu was claimed to have expressed grief at what Soludo described as “sacrilegious killings” of innocent people, kidnappings, and other crimes, including the savage enforcement of the sit-at-home order by various groups purporting to be acting for or on behalf of the IPOB.
“He confirmed that if the opportunity arise, he would gladly broadcast to his people to keep up with the peace,” Soludo said.
IPOB has been blamed by the Nigerian government for a number of attacks and fatalities in the Southeast.
IPOB and its security wing, the Eastern Security Network (ESN), have claimed responsibility for some of the attacks in the region, but have been denied by many others.
In the last two years, the region has seen an increase in attacks and killings.
The attacks have had a significant impact on public institutions, security officials, travelers, and inhabitants.
The IPOB sit-at-home edict requires all residents of the five states that make up the region to stay indoors on Mondays, a move that typically paralyzes socioeconomic activity.
The order frequently leaves the region’s streets and communities empty.
Disobedient residents, including tourists, are frequently killed or injured.
The Southeast is one of Nigeria’s four regions experiencing serious security threats. Others include the Northwest, which is dealing with banditry and terrorism, the Northcentral, which is dealing with the herders-farmers conflict, and the Northeast, which has seen sporadic terror strikes.
Kanu has been held at the State Security Service (SSS) prison in Nigeria since his arrest in Kenya in June 2021, where he faces charges including terrorism and treasonable felony.
Southeast leaders have made desperate attempts to gain his release, but they have failed.
Last week, when visiting Ebonyi State, President Muhammadu Buhari advised regional leaders who asked for his release to let the court decide his fate.
In Abuja, Buhari made a same speech to the leaders of the Southeast.