The governors of the South-East states issued statements appealing to the Biafra agitators to call off the sit-in. But the agitators insisted on going ahead, adding that the call was even made by the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, while still in Kuje Prisons. In Abia State, the Police Command issued a warning to members of IPOB and MASSOB against forcing the people to stay at home, saying the agitators planned to trample on the fundamental rights of the people. The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Leye Oyebade, said that no-one had the right to tell Abians to stay at home and not to go about their lawful business. He said that the Constitution of Nigeria was clear on the issue of freedom of association and movement of people. According to him, the Constitution only restrains anyone when such person must have run foul of the law and “such a person will be dealt with according to the law of the land, no more, no less”. We went on: “We have put in place all the necessary machinery for the people of the state to enjoy their Democracy Day holidays and other days thereafter as their security is assured at all times and in any part of the state they may reside. “There is only one Federal Republic of Nigeria and there can never be another republic in a republic. Therefore those who have the intention to force the residents of the state to do anything against their will should think twice as we are prepared for them. “I want to use this opportunity to reassure the people of the state and those who want to sit out during and after the Democracy Day celebration that all business areas and drinking joints are being covered by the police, as it is our duty to maintain peace at all times. “We have enough police men to monitor the movement of people both on the ground and from the air, our safer highway are on ground, the stop and search is stationed at different locations while our helicopter will be flying to all parts of the state. “We are doing aerial patrol of the state with our helicopter which will be reporting to our base while those on ground are ready to respond to any distress calls and anybody caught in any act that could disrupt the peace of the state will have himself to blame. “The police in Abia State is on ground to ensure that no person or group is going to coarse anybody to do anything against his/her wish; my men both on uniform and those on civilian dress are moving about and stationed in different places to ensure peace”, the police commissioner said. And in Umuahia, the home town of Nnamdi Kanu, the IPOB leader, who only just secured a bail on very stringent grounds by a Federal High Court trying him on account of his pro-Biafra activities, police surveillance helicopter was hovering over the city and environs. This prompted Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council, OYC, to issue a warning that the Federal Government would be held responsible if anything awful happened to pro-Biafra agitators over the sit-at-home call and the alleged directive to security operatives to open fire on the agitators as they mark the Biafra declaration. In a statement by the OYC’s Deputy National President and the National Secretary, Dr. Arthur Obiora and Mazi Okwu Nnabuike, respectively, the group said they would hold Acting President Yemi Osinbanjo responsible if anything ugly happened to any pro-Biafran agitator. “Ndigbo shall hold Osinbajo responsible as the Acting President of Nigeria should anything happen to any of our youths. We shall not take lightly the spilling of the blood of any Igbo man today because these are non-violent agitators and their agitation is protected under every known law”, they said. “As a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo is very much aware of the constitutional rights of these agitators and should therefore not allow himself to be used as an instrument to suppress lawful expression of opinion. “He should, as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, call all security agencies to ensure they do not engage in mass murder. “We have had enough of these mindless killings of our people and we are not going to take it again this time”. The statement urged on Igbo traders and workers to comply with the sit-at-home call, saying: “The international community is watching; so, if we can show unity as a people, if we can show solidarity with Nnamdi Kanu and Uchenna Madu, the leaders of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, respectively, the United Nations and other international organizations will not just accord us respect but help us in pushing for a referendum”. In spite of the tensions, the sit-at-home was observed without any reports of violence. Though the call did not witness total compliance in Umuahia and Abakiliki, Aba, Onitsha, Awka, Enugu, Nsukka, Nnewi, among others, were totally locked down. Assessing the compliance, an elated leader of MASSOB, Comrade Uche Madu, described it as a “huge success”. “The huge success achieved on the sit at home exercise is marvellous and glorious because Almighty God, Chukwu Okike Abiama, divinely approved our program of commemorating the golden jubilee celebration of the declaration of Biafra by General Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu. “The honour and pride go to the people of Biafra. The success achieved is not a selfish pride for Mazi Nnamdi Kanu-led IPOB or Comrade Uchenna Madu-led MASSOB or any other group, it is an honour of the people of Biafra; it is an honour of the gallant and eloquent soldiers of Biafra and civilians that bravely laid down their lives for the establishment of the Republic of Biafra. It is an honour for Biafra school children, an honour to commercial cyclists, tricyclists, bus and other vehicle operators; it is an honour to corporate firms/establishments that complied with the sit at home order. “The huge success is an express evidence that the coming Biafra referendum shall be a walk over against the Nigerian state. The success is also a direct confirmation that light and darkness can never walk together. The huge success has further differentiated the acceptability and unacceptability of Ralph Uwazuruike led Biafra Independent Movement (BIM) and Nnamdi Kanu led IPOB and Uchenna Madu led MASSOB. “The huge success marks the end of the deteriorating image of Ralph Uwazuruike and his BIM people who opposed the divine call for the sit at home exercise. The huge success is an indication to the international community that Biafrans are ever willing to stay on their own. “MASSOB is not against Nigeria’s existence, Biafra nation can as well exist as a sister nation with Nigeria like any other African country. As this exercise is the greatest of all civil disobedience applied in the struggle for Biafra actualization and restoration, the success has opened a new chapter to the Biafra struggle, a new dimension anchored on non-violence that will continuously paralyze Nigeria. “I Comrade Uchenna Madu, the leader of MASSOB, pledge my consistent and unshakable loyalty to the people of Biafra with a vow that any day I go back on Biafra actualization and restoration struggle, I shall die” Read more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/06/igbo-not-nigerias-existence/

Election officials in the mountain kingdom of Lesotho on Sunday investigated why armed soldiers had been deployed at many polling stations on voting day.

The army has often been accused of interfering in politics in Lesotho, a landlocked African country of two million people that has been hit by attempted coups and instability in recent years.

“The nation, the voters and even the observers were surprised… they felt that some voters were intimidated,” Independent Electoral Commission spokesperson Tuoe Hantsi told reporters.

“The law dictates who should be at the polling stations, and (the soldiers) caused confusion.”

Saturday’s election was seen as a two-horse race between old rivals Pakalitha Mosisili and Thomas Thabane, who have both served as prime minister.

Thabane fled an attempted military coup in 2014 when he was in power, and analysts say the army could favour Mosisili winning the vote.

The snap election was called when Prime Minister Mosisili, 72, lost a no-confidence vote in March after his seven-party coalition government broke up.

‘We will seek explanation’

As vote counting began on Sunday, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional body expressed concern over the army’s presence.

“We will be seeking an explanation from the army as to why the soldiers were placed at voting stations,” said Augustine Mahiga, head of the SADC observer mission.

The results, due out this week, are expected to lead to a coalition government, with Thabane, 77, seen as the narrow favourite to emerge as the winner.

Thabane’s All Basotho Congress party and the Alliance Democrats of Monyane Moleleki, a former police minister, have been in talks to form a possible government.

Mosisili’s Democratic Congress party could join forces with the Lesotho Congress of Democracy and the Popular Front for Democracy.

Lesotho is a constitutional monarchy ruled by King Letsie III, who has no formal power, and it has a mixed parliamentary system.

Saturday’s vote was the third general election since 2012 after years of political in-fighting and coalition collapses that have undermined attempts to tackle dire poverty and unemployment.

Lesotho has a 22.7%  HIV-AidsS rate in adults and an economy dependent on South Africa, which surrounds it completely.

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