Updated 22 September, 2016
– Bishops converging in Anambra for a meeting were forced to cancel due to the planned Biafra protest – IPOB had called on all business activities in the region to be shut down
– The bishops agreed to leave for fear of being trapped in the state Ahead of the planned protest by the indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) in the south east region, the five-day standing committee of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion has been forced to end abruptly.
The group had declared Friday, September 23 as a stay-at-home day and had ordered all businesses in the region to be shut.
Vanguard reports that the meeting which was attended by 170 bishops was scheduled to end on Friday but was forced to close on Wednesday due to the protest.
Most Reverend Nicolas Okoh who is the primate of Nigeria pleaded with the group to relax its order as it would affect their departure.
He said: “IPOB threatened to shut down markets and other institutions and restrict movement in the entire South East. We are not delving into the reasons for their agitation, but we are asking them to wait until we leave Awka on Friday.
“If they go ahead to carry out that order, we may be trapped in Anambra as the Niger Bridge is the only exit route from Anambra State for most of the Bishops. So, people should help us beg them to allow us to go.”
Although the programme had just started, the bishops decided to leave so as not to be caught in the secessionists’ plan of total shut down.
One of the bishops from the north expressed concern about the planned protest. “We are human and so we had to put our heads together and that is why we decided to cut short the conference.
“That is the most ideal thing to do in the circumstance. I will leave this evening and most others will do same. Those who cannot make it today (yesterday) will do so early tomorrow (today). There is no need waiting; it doesn’t make sense.”