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Empty streets, markets as residents comply with IPOB’s sit-at-home order in south-east

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Streets in some parts of the south-east have been deserted.

There is no vehicular movement in vast swathes of the geopolitical region as residents comply with the sit-at-home order issued by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

In certain neighbourhoods, you could hear a pin drop in the distance.

Traders have also not opened for business due to fear of attacks by the sit-at-home enforcers.

Last week, IPOB declared May 30 as a sit-at-home in the south-east to honour “our heroes and heroines” who died in the civil war between 1967 and 1970.

“Annually, 30th of May is solemn memorial day for Biafrans. To honor our heroes and heroines. Biafrans are asked to observe this one (1) day sit-at-home in reverence to the spirits of our departed heroes who fought for us to be alive today,” Emma Powerful, IPOB spokesperson, said in a statement.

“Every Biafran in Biafra territory is expected to sit-at-home on this day and reflect on the danger of the forced unity called Nigeria that have taken millions of lives of Biafrans.

“To that effect, IPOB directs all schools, government offices, Private offices, Banks, transport unions, market unions and private individuals to shut down all operations in honor of our our heroes and heroines on Thursday, May 30, 2024.

“IPOB directs all the residents of Biafra Land to stay indoors from 6am to 6pm on the 30th of May 2024. IPOB warns residents in Biafra to avoid loitering about on this day.

“Those who intend to travel to and fro Biafra land must do so before the evening of May 29th.”

The group is known for forceful and violent enforcement of its sit-at-home directives.

SKELETAL MOVEMENT IN EBONYI

Residents and traders in some south-east states, including Imo and Ebonyi, told TheCable on Thursday morning that there is no vehicular movement and that the streets are empty, with people remaining indoors for fear of being attacked.

A community leader in Ikwo, the largest LGA in Ebonyi, told TheCable that there was panic buying on Wednesday as people planned not to go out today.

“As I can see, the traffic is not as usual, only few and skeletal movement is happening within,” the community leader who craved anonymity said.

“There is a lot of panic such that some of the occasions that were scheduled today were postponed. Today was to be the local government delegate and councillorship primaries, but to that effect it was postponed for 31st.

“The reason I believe is not that the state government is afraid but then, to avoid casualties. You wouldn’t know when an untoward event can occur and some people will be affected.

“Of course, some shops are closed, some busy areas are not as it usually was. That is how my own area is.

“I haven’t seen any student move around. A lot of people that were meant to come from outside south-east — for fear of being attacked, had to leave yesterday.”

EMPTY STREETS, MARKETS IN IMO

A trader in Owerri who wished not to be named, expressed support for the sit-at-home order.

“I like what is happening today. Biafrans are marking their day. You can see no market today, no vehicular movement. It is like that in all Biafran states. We want Biafra to come and it will surely come,” the trader said.

“Nigerian government is suffering us. We are hungry and poor now. The president should change his style of leadership. People are dying of hunger and the government is not doing anything to alleviate our suffering.”

‘DISREGARD IPOB SIT-AT-HOME ORDER’

Meanwhile, police commands in the various south-east states have asked residents to ignore the sit-at-home order and go about their normal businesses.

Henry Okoye, the police spokesperson in Imo, said the order was “unlawful”.

Okoye said Aboki Danjuma, the commissioner of police in Imo, has strategically deployed security operatives to all nooks and crannies to ensure public safety.

Similarly, the Anambra police advised residents to shun the sit-at-home order.

“The Anambra State Police Command has become cognizant of the activities of criminal elements disseminating, threatening voice-overs and violent videos in an attempt to enforce illegal sit-at-home directives and instill fear among the residents of Anambra,” Tochukwu Ikenga, police public relations officer in Anambra, said in a statement.

“It is imperative to inform the public that actionable intelligence indicates that these individuals, in their bid to enforce the unlawful sit-at-home order, fabricate threatening voice-over recordings and circulate outdated videos of violent incidents, some of which did not occur within the state or even the country.

“The Command is fully aware of these secessionist activities and urges the law-abiding citizens of Anambra to disregard such propaganda.

“Rest assured, the Police, along with other security agencies, have mobilized law enforcement resources to ensure the safety and security of every citizen in the state.”

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Rivers crisis: Caretaker chairs denied access to offices as police barricade LGA secretariats

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Officers of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) have continued to barricade the 23 LGA headquarters of Rivers state.

On Tuesday, the Rivers police command announced the take over of the council headquarters following clashes between supporters of Siminalayi Fubara, governor of Rivers, and Nyesom Wike, his predecessor.

The crisis ensued after youths stormed the LGA secretariats to dislodge the elected chairpersons, whose tenure ended on Monday.

Following the expiration of the chairpersons’ tenure, Fubara ordered the heads of local government administration to immediately assume control of the 23 council areas of the state.

Despite the governor’s directive, some of the former LGA chairpersons reportedly attempted to resume duty at the council secretariat, but they were chased away by youths.

During the clash at Eberi-Omuma community in Okuama LGA, a police officer and one vigilante member were killed.

On Wednesday, Fubara swore in the caretaker committee chairpersons for the 23 LGAs.

Some of the caretaker chairpersons could not access the council offices because armed police officers remained stationed at the LGA headquarters.

Speaking in an interview on Channels Television on Wednesday, Darlington Orji, caretaker committee chairman of Ikwere LGA, said after the swearing-in ceremony, he could not access the council because it was barricaded by police officers.

Orji said the police officers said they were acting on the orders of Kayode Egbetokun, inspector-general of police.

Over the past few months, Rivers has been engulfed in political crisis due to the rift between Fubara and Wike.

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FG busts 1,618 civil servants with fake employment letters

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The Federal Government has announced that over the past year, it has identified 1,618 civil service officers with fake employment letters and removed them from the Integration Personnel Payroll and Information System (IPPIS).

Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, the Head of the Federation’s civil service, revealed this during a media briefing in Abuja on Wednesday, June 19.

The event was part of the 2024 Civil Service Week, themed “Education an African fit for the 21st Century: Building Resilient Education System for Increased Access to Inclusive Lifelong, Quality and Relevant Learning in Africa.”

Dr. Yemi-Esan explained that through physical verification conducted by various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), the previously inflated federal civil service workforce has been reduced from over 100,000 to 69,308 verified employees now on the payroll.

She also mentioned that besides discovering ghost workers with fake employment letters, the verification exercise caught some civil servants who had left the country for better overseas opportunities.

These individuals returned for the verification process weeks later, claiming they were unaware of the schedule, and were given an additional two weeks to complete their verification.

According to the Nigerian Tribune, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation said instead of waiting for the two weeks in addition to the days they had already spent in Nigeria, “a lot of them tendered their resignation letters because no UK organisation would afford to give two additional weeks in the country to perfect the verification process.”

Regarding the widespread corruption in the public service, Yemi-Esan stated that her office has been collaborating with the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to eradicate corruption from the system.

She also highlighted efforts to enhance the Federal Civil Service for better and more efficient service delivery to Nigerians, expressing confidence that the entire service would be fully digitised by the end of 2025.

Yemi-Esan revealed that the current administration has made significant strides in transforming and digitising work processes.

“From the service-wide perspective, all MDAs, all other ministries are also running with the digitalisation programme and there are different stages of implementation, but they have a mandate for all to achieve full migration by the end of 2025,” she said.

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Sanwo-Olu pledges to arrest Fouani brothers’ kidnappers, assures Lagosians of enhanced security

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Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has vowed to arrest the perpetrators behind the recent kidnapping of three Lebanese nationals, including Muhammed Fouani, the Managing Director of Fouani Nigeria Limited.

The Governor emphasized that his administration would not tolerate individuals with malicious intentions in the state.

He reassured Lagos residents, particularly business owners and religious tourists, that stringent security measures are being implemented to ensure their safety.

These assurances were contained in an official statement by Gboyega Akosile, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Lagos State Governor, on the Lagos State Government’s website on Wednesday.

“Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday vowed to arrest perpetrators behind the recent kidnapping of the three Lebanese nationals, including the Managing Director of Fouani Nigeria Limited, Muhammed Fouani, saying his government would not condone people of evil intentions in the State.

“He assured Lagos residents, particularly business owners and religious tourists, of adequate security in the state, saying his administration is committed to making the State peaceful, attractive and homely,” the statement read in part.

Furthermore, Governor Sanwo-Olu clarified that the kidnapping of three Lebanese nationals occurred on the waterway en route to Ikorodu, not around Five Cowry in Falomo as reported in the media.

He assured the public that authorities are actively pursuing the kidnappers and taking decisive actions to apprehend them.

The Governor emphasized that security forces are thoroughly combing all necessary areas to ensure those responsible are brought to justice.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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