A coalition of traditional rulers, church leaders and the Anambra State Government has declared Monday 4 April 2020 as “A Day of Prayer for Peace” to end the forced Sit-at-Home observance that happens every Monday in the South-East.

They also urged the Federal Government to grant an unconditional release of detained IPOB leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu “to douse the current tensions across the Southeast and create an atmosphere for collaboration toward a constructive resolution of the issues.”

In a statement, the Joint Body of leaders called on citizens of the state to join efforts to end the Sit-at-home that the initiator, the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) has disclaimed and declared ended since August 2021.

They stated, “We declare Monday, April 4th, 2022, as a Day Of Prayer For Peace for Alaigbo. We implore Ndi Anambra and all religious congregations to join in this important day of Prayer. It will take place within the premises of the Cathedrals, Churches, and prayer houses across ala Igbo by 11:00 am and we enjoin the faithful wherever you may be across Nigeria, or abroad to pause and join in fellowship as we seek the face of our Father. It is the expectation of the Joint Body that the conclusion of the prayer session shall mark the end of Sit-At-Home in Anambra State and the Southeast region in general.”

H.M. Obi Nnaemeka Achebe, CFR, Chairman, Anambra State Trad. Rulers Council, His Grace, Archbishop Valerian Okeke, Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha, and Metropolitan of Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu, Secretary to the State Government signed the statement. Other signatories are H.M. Igwe Laurence Agubuzu, Chairman, Ebonyi State Trad. Rulers Council and His Grace, Most Rev. (Dr) Chibuzo R. Opoko, JP, Secretary, Representatives of Archbishops and Bishops.

Their statement followed continued consultation by the Anambra State Government with relevant groups in the state in pursuit of the determination of Governor Chukwuma Soludo to end the notorious Sit-at-Home.

The Joint Body decried the Sit-at-Home. They noted that “the Monday- Sit-At-Home is ill-advised and counter-productive” as a way of advocating for a cause. They added, “All over the world, it is our inalienable right to make demands, make our voices to be heard, make agitations against perceived injustice and the reality of marginalisation. It is however totally unacceptable to stop our children from going to school, to destroy our means of livelihood, to kill, maim or recklessly destroy properties of the so-called potential beneficiaries of the struggle, to make our economies unattractive to investors, and to create an environment in which our youth have little hope of realising their legitimate dreams and aspirations for jobs and wealth creation.”

The Joint Body asked “all criminal elements masquerading as working under the instruction of IPOB or ESN to cease and desist from further acts of violence and criminality or face the implacable force of law and order”.
Drop your arms, it urged all who seek resolution of their grievances through armed struggle and victims of the insecurity in Anambra State in the past three years to “step forward and cooperate with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that will be inaugurated by the Anambra State Government next week”.

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