say economy is being crippled…
Youths from the five South-East states took to the streets of Enugu metropolis on Monday, in support of efforts to end the illegal sit-at-home order, which is crippling the zone’s economy.
Speaking to newsmen after the march, Secretary-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youths Worldwide, Mazi Chukwuma Okpalaezeukwu, said the youths were “demonstrating the desire, resolve and endorsement of an end to the sit-at-home order in the South East”.
According to Okpalaezeukwu, Igbo youths and stakeholders have gathered here from the five states of the South East to declare and endorse the end to sit-at-home.
“We acknowledge the fact that the sit-at-home order commenced because of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s detention. It gained so much support in solidarity with Kanu in the beginning.
“But as it is now, it is affecting us. Our economy is shrinking and its adverse effects are just too much.
“Miscreants and criminals are causing so much mayhem in our society under the guise of enforcing the sit-at-home order and we say NO to all forms of criminalities in the South-East.
“We are therefore convinced that it is now time to end it, just as Kanu himself has said,” he added.
Comrade Chidi Nzekwe, the South-East Coordinator of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), said that educational institutions in the South-East do not operate on Mondays.
“Now we are talking about another 14 days of sitting at home. We want to encourage our youths and students to come out. Let us stand together to end this sit-at-home order,” Nzekwe said.
On his part, Mazi Nnamdi Odo, Youth Leader, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Enugu State Chapter, stressed “we are from all five South-East states and we are here to speak with one voice against the unprogressive, anti-people and illegal sit-at-home order.
He said, “Today, we are out to show solidarity with Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s stand and the South-East governments that are trying to end the sit-at-home order.
“We are concerned that our economy is being crippled and the youths are now taking this message very seriously because if we don’t kill sit-at-home, sit-at-home will kill us. God forbid.”
Meanwhile, Enugu metropolis, this Monday witnessed impressive compliance of the residents to the ban on the sit-at-home order, with shopping malls, markets and banks opening for businesses, even as residents said the call for a two-week sit-at-home order would not work.
A shopper and owner of a plumbing firm, Mr Kingsley Onah, said he was doubtful the two-week sit-at-home order would work, as people are already tired and hungry.
“Besides, there is so much security out there. From my house to this place, I saw so many security men. It’s just that people are just afraid based on the things that happened before.
“But now, if you want to come out, you can come out and do what you want to do in town. The state is secured now. I do not think the two-week sit-at-home order will work,” Onah said.
Also at SPAR shopping mall, Mr Uchechukwu Orji, expressed satisfaction with the level of security in the state and encouraged residents to come out.
“Enugu is safe. I’m very impressed. I see people go about their normal businesses. People should not be scared by all this propaganda.
“Security agencies are everywhere to secure you and your businesses. For now, I am impressed. The town is peaceful,” Orji, an entertainer, said.
At Abakpa Market, a driver, Emmanuel Okpara, said business now picks up on Mondays as “the confidence of the people to pursue their daily activities is getting higher”.
“Before, we were afraid that something bad would happen to us if we came out. But now there is security everywhere and I will advise people to come out,” Okpara said.
A resident at New Haven, Mr Innocent Agu, expressed happiness that business was beginning to pick up, adding that people’s perishable goods used to get spoiled before the ban on the sit-at-home order by Gov. Peter Mbah’s administration.
“I can tell our people that now there is nothing to fear. People should have the courage to come out. Police and army are everywhere securing our people,” he said.
A hairdresser at Mkpokiti, New Layout, Miss Amaka Samuel, noted that hairdressers suffered before the governor’s ban on the order, adding:“Hunger wanted to kill us; no customers. But now, it is a bit different.”