Enugu State Government has warned that schools, markets and shops that fail to open and function normally in the name of observing the ‘illegal sit-at-home’ order will be shut down indefinitely.
Sit-at-home, usually observed on Mondays, is the brainchild of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to push for the release of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, who has been in custody since 2021 when he was re-arrested by the Federal Government.
Enugu State Governor, Peter Mbah, had on June 2 banned the Monday sit-at-home in the state, pointing out that it was injurious to the economic well-being of the state.
However, in spite of the governor’s pronouncement, residents continued to stay away from business activities on Monday for fear of attacks.
Determined to stamp out the sit-at-home, the state government, in a Public Service Announcement issued on Tuesday by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof Chidiebere Onyia, declared that from Tuesday, July 4, businesses still closing in the name of sit-at-home would be indefinitely shut down.
The state described as illegal a one-week sit-at-home order made by Simon Ekpa, who claimed to be IPOB’s Prime Minister.
“The attention of the Enugu State Government has been drawn to reports on social media that proprietors of private schools in the state are sending messages to their pupils and students to the effect that they should not come to school from Tuesday on account of the illegal one week sit-at-home order allegedly declared by faceless non-state actors in the state.
“The Enugu State Government is alarmed and dismayed by this development and hereby warns that any school that fails to open and function normally from today will have its licence revoked immediately.
“The Enugu State Government also extends the same warning to market unions and shop owners in the state. All markets and shops in the various markets must be open to customers from today or be shut down indefinitely.
“Government reiterates its ban on any form of illegal sit-at-home in all parts of the state, as it is evil and antithetical to all values we hold dear as a people, such as the Igbo spirit of industry, hardwork, creativity and productivity,” the statement said.
The government said it would no longer sit by and watch faceless groups and misguided individuals issue illegal orders, “dictating to us how to lead our lives, when to go to work or market and when our children go to school, while they ply their trade and their children go to school.”