*Schools declare public holidays, churches postpone programmes
From Steve Oko, Umuahia
As the Nigerian Police and members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, continue to exchange verbal missiles over the burial of the late parents of IPOB Leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, slated for tomorrow, February 14, morbid fear has griped some residents of Umuahia.
While the police have warned IPOB members to steer clear from the burial scheduled to take place at Isiama Afaraukwu Umuahia palace of the late monarch and his wife, Lolo Sally Kanu, IPOB has also asked police and other security agencies not to show up at the event.
Despite rejection by IPOB and Kanu’s family, Police Commissioner, Ene Okon has insisted that a formidable team of his men would be on ground to provide security for all.
There are also fears that the army may show up at the event.
Both the family and IPOB as well as Ohanaeze Youths Council have described the position of the security agencies as provocative and an insult to Igbo traditional.
According to the family Spokesman and Kanu’s younger brother, Prince Emmanuel Kanu, their parents’s death is not unconnected with the trauma of the military invasion of the palace during the widely condemned Operation Python Dance ll in 2017.
They have repeatedly assured that the burial would be peaceful, hence there is no need to deploy security personnel to the venue.
Meanwhile, tension has continued to mount across the capital city over the altercations by the various interests.
Investigations by our Correspondent revealed that there is morbid fear among some residents of the state capital particularly those living around Afaraukwu communities.
Some residents confided in our correspondent that they had perfected plans to leave Umuahia before the end of Thursday.
“We are packing our things to travel to the village “, a young couple who prefered not to be mentioned told our correspondent.
Some elders in the Afaraukwu community have also expressed fear over the unnecessary tension the burial is generating.
They however said there was no need for people to be panic expressing confidence the burial would be peaceful.
Meanwhile some schools in town particularly privates schools have declared tomorrow as public holiday.
In one of the popular private schools at Government Station layout it wrote on a board that pupils should stay at home tomorrow, giving immunisation as excuse.
Another popular private school at Factory Road close to Kanu’s home has also suddenly declared its midterm break.
Even though non of the schools gave reasons for the public holiday it may not be unconnected with the morbid fear that has griped many residents.
Our findings also revealed that some churches have postponed their programmes already slated for tomorrow apparently to avoid exposing their members to danger.