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Opinion: How South-East Governors Should Confront The Sit-at-home Declared In The Region

Tomorrow, Monday, October 11, 2021, will be the first Monday after the South-East Governors made it known that the sit-at-home declared in the south eastern part of the country by the proscribed Independent Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), would no longer be observed in the region.

The governors took the decision after its regional meeting convened by the Chairman of the South-East Governors forum, Gov. Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State and hosted by Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State. Well, just issuing a statement after their meeting last Tuesday, October 12, is not enough to stop the Monday sit-at-home exercise in the region.

(Photo credit: Daily Nigerian)

The Governors will only succeed in this task by discouraging their people from observing the sit-at-home exercise. Meanwhile, they must make sure that the security of lives and properties of their people are guaranteed. Yes, because many of those who observe the Monday sit-at-home do it out of sheer fear of the unknown. People are afraid of what may befell them if they decide to disregard the sit-at-home order.

Frankly speaking, the South-East Governors have a huge task ahead, if truly they are to succeed in making sure that the sit-at-home exercise is a thing of the past. But the most paramount of the task ahead is by providing adequate security for the people, such that it will seemingly be impossible for them to be attacked by any person or group, in the guise of enforcing the sit-at-home order.

(Photo credit:The Guardian Nigeria)

On the other hand, the Governors have to make arrangement for more army troops to be deployed to the region, because the police cannot handle the situation alone. Also, this is one of the surest way of providing the level of security required to convince those resident in the region, that disregarding the sit-at-home order comes with no severe consequences afterwards. And once these attacks from those enforcing the sit-at-home order has been eliminated, then you will see how the people will troop out every Monday to do their business as usual, and equally engage in other human activities of their choice.

The truth remains that, once the people are not sure of their security, they will hardly take the risk of disregarding the Monday sit-at-home exercise. Meanwhile, hoodlums, unknown gunmen and other criminal elements have continued to unleash mayhem in the region. They equally attack those who disregards the sit-at-home order, by going about their legitimate business on Monday.

(Photo credit: Premium Times Nigeria)

For instance, on September 28, 2021, The Guardian Newspaper reported that some hoodlums who were allegedly enforcing the sit-at-home order on Monday, September 27, 2021, set ablaze a vehicle conveying some foodstuffs like vegetables, tomatoes, etc, at Edem Junction, Ibeagwa, Nike, in Enugu-East Local Council of Enugu State.

Also, on the same day, hoodlums who were equally said to be enforcing the sit-at-home order in Orlu axis in Imo State, reportedly set some vehicles travelling to some other parts of the country ablaze, for disregarding the so called sit-at-home order.

Meanwhile, The Cable Nigeria reported that unknown gunmen attacked Comprehensive Secondary School, Nkume in Njaba LGA of Imo state, on Monday, September 13, 2021. The attackers harassed and chased away students who were sitting for the 2021 West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE), including teachers and others. And the list is seemingly endless.

(Photo credit: Punch Newspapers)

So, if truly the Governors are sincere and determined to end the sit-at-home exercise in the region, then they should provide adequate security for the people, only that way will the people of that region have the confidence to disregard the sit-at-home order and go about their legitimate businesses. Yes, knowing that no consequences awaits them along the line or in the end.

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Dave Umahi Ebonyi State Enugu State Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi South-East


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