Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu has urged the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) to make the May 30 sit-at-home order optional.
Ekweremadu spoke at an Inter-denominational church service at the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, to commemorate 2017 Democracy Day on Sunday.
He advised that the groups should not pursue their agitations with violence.
“Individuals who operate private businesses and want to stay-at-home on that day should stay, while those who want to operate their businesses should be allowed to do so.
“I believe that civil and public workers should be ready to go to work on that day as I appeal that no group should force people to stay at home against their wishes,” he added.
The deputy senate president called on the agitators to embrace dialogue and constructive engagement in pursuing their agitation; not coercion or other forms of armed struggle.
“The struggles and concerns are genuine but with the collaboration of all and constructive engagement, we will surely get to our destination no matter how long it takes.
“Black Americans agitated for a long time before Barack Obama became president in 2008, likewise in India, it took constructive engagement for the people to actualise their agitation.
“South Africa despite racial disturbances and black oppression, employed constructive engagement and intervention of the western world and African interests such as Nigeria’s, to dismantle apartheid,” he said.
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