…Protests have decimated Southeast economy – Ebonyi gov
…Anambra govt warns businesses to open to customers or be sealed
…As IPOB, Yoruba nation agitators, others set for one million man protest at UN General Assembly
By Ezeocha Nzeh (Abuja) and Isaac Ojo, Nnewi
Governors and leaders of the South east states have continued to lament the huge economic losses in the zone, following the weekly Sit-at-home order by the Indigenous People of Biafra
IPOB has, since the arrest and renewed trial of their leader, Mazi Nnamdi kanu, by the federal government, ordered a sit-at-home every Monday in all South east cities, in protest and demand for the unconditional release of their leader
The order was however extended to last Thursday when the separatist group ordered same sit – at – home to protest the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Owerri, the capital of Imo state
The order has no doubt crippled economic and social activities in the major South east cities, including Enugu, Awka, Abakiliki, Awka, Onitsha, Nnewi, Owerri, Orlu, Okigwe, Nsukka and others
Protesting the huge losses on the people of South east, Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano and his Ebonyi State counterpart, David Umahi, lamented the untold losses suffered by their states and the Southeast in general following the continuation of the Sit-at-home order issued by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to press for the release of their detained leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
The governors feared that the directive could completely ground economic activities of the region if not immediately stopped.
Governor Dave Umahi, who described the losses suffered by Ebonyi State as unimaginable, regretted that the sit-at-home protests have decimated the economy of the Southeast. The governor had earlier threatened to close all shops in the state capital, Abakiliki, whose owners fail to open on the days of the IPOB order.
The threat has however remained ineffective as shop owners have continued to remain at home every Monday, for fear of being attacked by IPOB members who always monitor the adherence of their order by people in the zone
Also disturbed that the protests are taking its toll on the state, Anambra government at the weekend, declared that the state has had enough of the IPOB and its enforced Sit-at-home protests on Mondays.
The government therefore asked banks and traders to ignore further threats by the group and resume normal business activities from Monday.
Governor Willie Obiano, who met with stakeholders over the development, threatened to seal any bank or market that joins in the protest again.
“The markets should open. If they do not open, I would sack the leadership of the market and shut the market,” Obiano told traders at a meeting.
“Invisible voice says ‘sit at home?’ And, you just comply and lose money. You don’t know who says sit-at-home, you just lose money.
“You need to help us to stop this nonsense. It is absolute nonsense. That’s a warning. If you don’t do that, we will change your leadership,” Governor Obiano warned.
Ebonyi: Our losses are unimaginable
Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi has also cried out over the economic and social consequences of the sit-at-home protests, saying that the exercise has decimated the economy of the Southeast.
He said IPOB does not have the interest of the region at heart, warning that the group will end up destroying the region if not checkmated.
He regretted that Federal Ministries, Agencies and Departments, no longer come to the state to carry out their functions as a result of the Monday sit – at – home by IPOB, insisting that the action is not good for the Igbo nation, whose citizen are noted for their business accumen.
He said: ”The economy of the Southeast will be destroyed by the reason of very few that is self- seeking. We are known for trade and anyone advocating for sit-at-home in Southeast is evil because Southeast has not caused the problem of anybody.
“If anybody is waging war, that war cannot be in Southeast. It is important that our people should understand what is going on. It is not in the interest of Southeast
“You can’t kill the people and destroy the economy and say you are fighting for the people. We must rise to say no to this evil plan to destroy our economy and destroy our people.”
Meanwhile Ebonyi state Commissioner for Commerce, Stephen Odoh, who described the losses as unimaginable, said his Ministry is still compiling data on the sit-at-home to find out the total of losses incurred by the state as a result of the exercise.
IN a sharp move to put a stop to the sit – at – home order ion Imo state, the government had last week sealed some banks in Owerri as punishment for observing the sit-at-home protests.
It said its action was to let the banks appreciate the frustration they had caused customers on Monday by refusing to open for transactions.
Full socio-economic activity will resumes in Anambra State today, says Commissioner for Information
The Anambra State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C Don Adinuba says full socio economic activity will resume in the state on Monday (Today).
The commissioner’s assurance was contained in a press release made available to journalists.
“Following the directive yesterday by the Secretary to the State Government, Professor Solo Chukwulobelu, to banks to operate fully on every working day throughout the state, it has become necessary to explain to the people of Anambra State that the order also affects other sectors of our people’s socioeconomic life. All markets as well as motor parks and commercial vehicles are henceforth to operate fully every Monday and any other weekday except any day declared work-free by the appropriate authorities.
“Before Governor Willie Obiano led a meeting yesterday between heads of security agencies and bank executives in the state, including those from the Awka branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria, he had personally held frank and rewarding discussions with a large spectrum of leaders of the transport union and market association in Anambra State on why they had for the past five weeks been shutting down their businesses every Monday.
“The transporters, for instance, attributed their action to the inability of commuters to come out for regular business owing to fear of attacks by unknown gunmen men while traders explained that without banks opening on any day it was difficult to keep proceeds of the day in a safe place. The bankers, on their part, argued that without markets opening and people going about their normal business, there was no need to open their doors to the public.
“It is axiomatic that the good people of Anambra State and, indeed, the Southeast have for the past five weeks been grappling with a vicious cycle on a grand scale. Some pupils have missed terminal terminations, with all the grave implications for the competitiveness of the youngsters and for the future of our state.
“A number of small-scale restaurateurs have had their entire investments destroyed by these non-state actors for coming out to pursue their legitimate business through which they feed their families, pay house rents, pay for the education of their children and take care of friends, relatives, associates and other dependents. Some have lost their cars and motorcycles, their sole means of livelihood, to these non-state actors. The less lucky ones have lost their limbs and even lives most gruesomely in other parts of the Southeast,” C Don Adinuba explained.
Adinuba said that no responsible government would stand akimbo while the future of its people is destroyed gratuitously, adding that the Anambra State governor, Willie Obiano has held useful discussions in the last couple of days with relevant groups with a view to freeing members to pursue their legitimate businesses.
He said that it has become unacceptable to continue to lock down the state on Mondays since the leadership of the organization on whose instructions some persons claim to enforce the stay-at-home order has since rescinded the order.
The Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment said that adequate arrangements have been made with all security and intelligence agencies to provide adequate security for the people of Anambra State noting that the dark spots in the state have been identified and far-reaching measures taken to end the blights.
No going back on one million protest at UN General Assembly — Yoruba Nation, IPOB, others vow
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination (NINAS) has vowed to go ahead with their planned one million march in front of the United Nations Headquarters in New York, United States.
NINAS is the umbrella body of leading regional self-determination groups in the South and Middle Belt of Nigeria.
NINAS, whose representatives includes renowned historian, Professor Banji Akintoye (South-West) and Yorubaland; the Lower Niger Congress under the leadership of Tony Nnadi (South-South, South-East) and Middle-Belt Renaissance Movement under the leadership of Professor Yusufu Turaki, representing the Middle Belt, maintained that the body will storm the UN on September 14, to demand for a referendum on self-determination and abolition of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria.
The 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) holds from 14th- 21st September, 2021 in New York, The United States of America, where President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to be in attendance.
It was learnt that Nigerians in diaspora from the South East, South South, South West and Middle Belt’s clans, living in the United States of America, are being mobilised to stand up for their Indigenous Nationalities.
”We want to show the world our plight so that we can see solutions. We can’t keep quiet. The mega rallies held in Southwest were a success, and it is not enough, but we need the world to understand our current plight.
“The Federal Government has tried to clamp down on our rallies, and some of the peaceful protesters were attacked, and some were arrested. We decided the rally that we’ve held at home is not enough, we need to go international.
“This rally is coming at a time the UN general assembly is going to be meeting in New York. This rally will help in solidifying self-determination agitation.
“The rally is going to be an inclusive one, we’ve done the necessary. We’ve formed alliance — NINAS — and we’ve agreed on the rally. We’ll have Yoruba, Igbo, Middle Belt, other regions will be at the rally,” Professor Akintoye stated