Nigeria’s Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremmadu, has warned that the sit-at-home order declared by some right groups in South-East for May 30 should be optional.
The Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) called on citizens of South-East to stay at home on May 30 to observe their anniversary.
Ekweremmadu gave the advice on Sunday at an Inter-denominational church service at the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, Abakaliki, to commemorate 2017 Democracy Day and Gov. David Umahi’s second year in office.
He noted that while the agitation and concerns of the groups are genuine, they should not be pursued with force or other forms of armed struggle.
“Individuals who operate private businesses and want to stay-at-home on that day should stay, while those who want to operate their businesses should be allowed to do so.
“I believe that civil and public workers should be ready to go to work on that day as I appeal that no group should force people to stay at home against their wishes,” he added.
The deputy senate president called on the agitators to embrace dialogue and constructive engagement in pursuing their agitation; not coercion or other forms of armed struggle.
“The struggles and concerns are genuine but with the collaboration of all and constructive engagement, we will surely get to our destination no matter how long it takes.
“Black Americans agitated for a long time before Barack Obama became president in 2008, likewise in India, it took constructive engagement for the people to actualise their agitation.
“South Africa despite racial disturbances and black oppression, employed constructive engagement and intervention of the western world and African interests such as Nigeria’s, to dismantle apartheid,” he said.
Ekweremadu congratulated the people of Ebonyi on the second year in office of their governor.
He noted that the state had matured politically and socially, adding that any indigene could aspire for any political office in the state.