The APC Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) has unveiled Monday, November 21 2022 and Monday January 30th 2023 as dates for campaign rallies in Imo and Anambra state, respectively, for the presidential candidate of the All-Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu. 

Why it matters 
Every Monday, the five southeastern states in Nigeria observe a mandatory sit-at-home order in solidarity with their leader, who is in the custody of the federal government. Defiance of this order in the past has resulted in the destruction of lives and properties of the violators. 

  • The conduct of a political rally and the participation of the party’s faithful is a daring action to the perpetrators of the violence in the southeastern region of the country. 

State of play 
Although socio-economic activities have slowly resumed in the region on Mondays, a greater part of the residents of the southeast do not attend public occasions on Mondays. 

In early October, IPOB disclosed that it would not interfere or disrupt the 2023 general elections in any way. The group further accused the government of masterminding insecurity in the Southeast.

  • Any violence against the presidential candidate or the entourage of Nigeria’s ruling party (APC) during his visit is against electoral laws and could easily spark a tribal conflict between two of the three major ethnic groups in the country. This is because Nigerians live across ethnic lines in different parts of the country. 

In case you missed it 
IPOB first declared a sit-at-home action in the southeastern region of Nigeria in solidarity to the court appearances of its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. IPOB then imposed a sit-at-home order every Monday until the release of Nnamdi Kanu.

Southeast has also observed the defiance order on special circumstances, such as October 1st, Nigeria’s Independence Day, visit of the country’s President to the region, etc. 

Although IPOB has ended the sit-at-home order, unknown gunmen have continued to wrought violence in different parts of the southeastern region of Nigeria to ensure compliance with the reversed order. State governments and support groups have also condemned the directive but to no avail. 

Last month, an appeal court acquitted IPOB’s leader, Nnamdi Kanu of all charges against him, but the federal government said it will “consider all available options open to us on the judgement”.

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