The Imo State Government under Governor Hope Uzodinma has dismissed the threat by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to shut down the entire South-East region over President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to the region.
The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, stated this on Saturday, September 10, 2022, at a press conference in Owerri that IPOB was not in a position to threaten the President.
Recall, earlier on Saturday, the IPOB in a statement declared Tuesday, September 13, as a sit-at-home in the South-East in solidarity with its detained leader, Nnamdi Kanu whose trial holds that day.
The statement read in part, “The global family and movement of IPOB wishes to announce to the general public, especially Biafrans, that Tuesday, September 13, has been declared a day of civil action in the form of sit-at-home in Biafraland.
“Tuesday’s civil action is very important for two reasons: First, our leader’s Appeal Court hearing that was supposed to be on October 11 has been brought forward to September 13, 2022.”
This coincided with the day President Muhammadu Buhari will be visiting Imo, a state in the south-east region to commission a 36-kilometer dualized Owerri/Orlu road and the first phase of a dualised 53-kilometre Owerri/Okigwe road, among others.
However, Emelumba, reacting to the declaration by IPOB of a sit-at home in the South-East states on Tuesday, said security operatives were ready for Buhari’s visit to Imo State.
“Nobody can threaten Buhari. He is the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Imo is one of the states he governs and he is free to visit it. Security is in top gear and I can assure you that his visit will be successful,” the commissioner stated.
In a related development, there is apprehension in Owerri metropolis over the abduction of a prominent traditional ruler in Imo state, Eze Jewel Ndenkwo.
He was said to have been kidnapped in front of one of his companies in Owerri, the state capital, around 7pm on Friday.
The kidnapped monarch, who owns series of businesses, including Udekings Nigeria Limited, is the traditional ruler of Isiala Umudi Autonomous community in the Nkwerre Local Government Area of the state.
He was said to have been abducted in front of his office at Tetlow in Owerri. The abductors are yet to establish contact with his family.
Though the police spokesperson, CSP Micheal Abattam, is yet to respond to the incident, the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, has confirmed it, saying the government is making effort to curtail crime and criminality in the state.
The monarch was abducted at a time when two of the wedding guests kidnapped in Isiala Mbano area of Imo two weeks ago, regained freedom.
The victims are Collins Alaefula, Mmadu Promise and Victor Chibuike. They were said to have paid ransoms before they were left off the hook.
Brother to one of the victims, Fortune, told newsmen on Saturday that his sibling, Promise, and one other were released on Friday.