South East Nigeria is currently under attack over Biafra Day.
News Online reports that Awka, the Anambra State capital, and South East hub is a shadow of itself with residents literally looking behind their shoulders as anxiety mounted over alleged killing of soldiers in Ihiala and threats issued by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) against violation of the sit-at-home order for Monday.
The matter was not helped by the change of date from Sunday to Monday and another group threatening to take over Biafra land from May 26.
Saturday afternoon, too, a film clip in which the producer claimed that he was trapped in Onitsha because soldiers had closed the Ihiala end of Onitsha-Owerri road due to the casualties it suffered, also heightened people’s anxieties.
The producer claimed he was Lagos bound, but could not continue his journey.
Yet another film clip showing helicopter gunboats raining bullets on a community said to be Ihiala also went viral.
As if these were not enough, heavily armed unidentified men in Sports Utility Vehicle patrolled Awka and, as it stopped briefly under the Aroma flyover, there was a stampede.
The fear of unknown gunmen, security officers whose charge was not clear to the public, and the spate of killings by rival cults groups had combined to keep Anambra on edge.
Meanwhile, the IPOB had renewed its call for a sit-at-home on Monday to honour heroes of the Nigerian Civil War among the Igbo.
The renewed call on Saturday reinforced an earlier call.
The group said: “The Biafra Remembrance Day and candle light procession will take place on Sunday night May 30, while sit-at-home and total lockdown takes place on Monday, May 31, 2021, and not May 30th as earlier announced.”
The adjustment, according to the Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, is to enable churches hold their normal services on Sunday, May 30, without any obstructions.
“But there will be no human or vehicular movement throughout Biafra land on Monday, May 31.
“Every person in Biafra land is, therefore, advised to observe a sit-at-home order on Monday, May 31, 2021.
“That day is a sacred day in Biafra land in honour of the over five million Biafrans massacred by the wicked Nigeria forces during the civil war.
“There will be a total lockdown all through Biafra land on that day as we remember all our fallen heroes and heroines, including agitators who have paid the supreme price in the course of our struggle for independence since 1967 till date.