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Sit-at-home: Nigerian Senate Rejects Motion To Release Nnamdi Kanu From Detention

The senators heard the motion as moved by Senator Osita Izunaso representing Imo West Senatorial District, which sought to address the constant sit-at-home order enforced by unknown gunmen in the region through the command of Finland-based Simon Ekpa, a self-acclaimed disciple of Kanu.

Nigerian lawmakers in the upper legislative chamber – the Senate – on Wednesday heard a motion to release Nnamdi Kanu, the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the South-East region of the country.

The senators heard the motion as moved by Senator Osita Izunaso representing Imo West Senatorial District, which sought to address the constant sit-at-home order enforced by unknown gunmen in the region through the command of Finland-based Simon Ekpa, a self-acclaimed disciple of Kanu.

Senator Izunaso in the motion co-sponsored by other lawmakers from the South-East, noted that the senators were aware that thousands of innocent lives had been lost since the action started, and properties worth over a trillion had been destroyed resulting in investors leaving the region.

The lawmaker said that “The sit-at-home civil disobedience actions in the South-East have led to the disruption/destruction of economic activities and immeasurable financial losses for businesses, workers, and the local economy. Because, when people are forced to stay at home and businesses remain closed, productivity declines and income is reduced, affecting livelihoods and economic growth.

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“The “sit-at-home” protests disrupt the education of students, leading to missed classes and delays in academic progress. And such prolonged disruptions have long-term effects on students’ learning outcomes and educational development; disturbed that disruption of essential public services, such as healthcare, transportation, and waste disposal, continues to have a severe impact during “sit-at-home” protests which adversely affect the well-being and safety of the general population living in the South-East.”

Recall that IPOB had in August 2021 declared a sit-at-home order every Monday across the South-East to protest the continued detention of Kanu and demand his release but the group eventually suspended the order after about two weeks of its declaration.

But Ekpa has continued to declare sit-at-home orders in the region despite the exercise being suspended by the IPOB on the order of Kanu.

The continued enforcement of the illegal sit-at-home order has led to residents of the South East states including Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo, Abia and Anambra to constantly count attacks and destruction by gunmen enforcing the order.

The Senate has rejected a motion to release from the detention the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu,

The lawmaker, in the motion co-sponsored by other lawmakers from the South-East, noted that the senators were aware that thousands of innocent lives had been lost since the action started, and properties worth over a trillion had been destroyed resulting in investors leaving the region.

He said, “The sit-at-home civil disobedience actions in the South-East have led to the disruption/destruction of economic activities and immeasurable financial losses for businesses, workers, and the local economy. Because, when people are forced to stay at home and businesses remain closed, productivity declines and income is reduced, affecting livelihoods and economic growth.

“The “sit-at-home” protests disrupt the education of students, leading to missed classes and delays in academic progress. And such prolonged disruptions have long-term effects on students’ learning outcomes and educational development; Disturbed that disruption of essential public services, such as healthcare, transportation, and waste disposal, continues to have a severe impact during “sit-at-home” protests which adversely affect the well-being and safety of the general population living in the South-East.”

IPOB had in August 2021 declared a sit-at-home order every Monday across the South-East to protest the continued detention of Kanu. The separatist group eventually suspended the order.

However, the leader of a faction of IPOB, Simon Ekpa, has continued to declare sit-at-home orders in the region despite the exercise being suspended by the IPOB faction led by Kanu.

Residents of the five South-East states: Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo, Abia and Anambra have constantly been killed, maimed and attacked by gunmen enforcing the civil order for stepping out on Mondays and other days in violation of the order.

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