An Abuja-based renowned Lawyer and Human rights activist, Osuagwu Ugochukwu, over the weekend, fired warning to the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, against forcing people to sit at home on May 30 to mark the celebration of Biafra Day.
Ugochukwu also, advised IPOB and other pro-Biafra activists not to take the laws into their hands in their planned bid to force Igbos and non-Igbos to stay at home on May 30, 2017.
According to Daily Post, Ugochukwu said it was totally wrong for the group to force people who do not believe in Biafra to stay at home and stop motorist from moving in and out of eastern part of the country on May 30.
Recall, IPOB’s spokesman, Emma Powerful, had issued a statement asking its members to observe the stay at home exercise on May 30 and remember their fallen heroes.
In his reaction on Sunday, Ugochukwu warned IPOB against provoking the Nigerian government and the military, stressing that it would be better to fight for a course within the ambit of the law.
He said, “Nobody is against your belief in Biafra and nobody is saying you should not exercise your rights in promoting your Biafra ideology. But in doing so you must not breach the laws of the land.
“The call by IPOB to all markets, transport companies, schools, banks, companies, civil servants, petrol stations, okada/tricycle unions, park management, artisans, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and Drivers Welfare in Biafraland, to shut down on that particular day in honour and remembrance of our fallen heroes and heroines is unlawful. This is a threat to Sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Nigerian Constitution.
“The laws of the land allow for freedom of movement and any attempt by any group including IPOB to force people from freely moving will be treated as treasonable , breach of public peace and confrontational which the Military and other security agencies would not take lightly.
“IPOB has no right to restrict movement of persons and vehicles on May 30 as it is against section 41 of the Nigerian Constitution (as amended) which provides that Every citizen of Nigeria is entitled to move freely throughout Nigeria and to reside in any part thereof, and no citizen of Nigeria shall be expelled from Nigeria or refused entry thereby or exit therefrom.”
The activist urged IPOB to follow the path of Igbo apex social cultural group, Ohaneze, which had been agitating for better deal for Ndigbo within the ambit of the law.
Nevertheless, some have criticised Ugochukwu, stating that his argument is baseless as the IPOB never forced Ndigbo to sit at home but only asked its members and other lovers of and believers in Biafra to stay-at-home to mark the celebration.