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Sit-at-Home~Group call on SE Governors to take responsibility
The SIT–AT-HOME PANDEMIC in the South East: A Call to Governors of the southeast to Take Responsibility
We the Concerned Igbo Stakeholders Forum selected from the Five South-East States of Nigeria, comprising of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo states are worried by the disruptive nature of the IPOB Sit–At-Home otherwise Ghost Monday, order and its obvious Socio-economic impact on Ndi-Igbo,
We wish to make clear our position as follows:
1. That the continued Sit-At-Home in the region has had dire economic consequences on the Business of ‘Ndi-Igbo’. It is pertinent to note that many Igbos who depend on daily earnings now have to go hungry for some days of the week because of the shutdown on their businesses.
Coincidentally also the NECO Mathematics and the WAEC English language examinations fell on Mondays and these came at a cost to the students, as many had to trekk over 10 kilometers to get to catch up with their Examinations, because the commuters were unavailable due to the Sit-At-Home. A good number of candidates had to miss their examinations due to security concerns.
2. The region cannot afford to lose out on its Economic viability, which largely depends on the Internally Generated Revenues, in the face of a National Economic crisis.
Continued compliance with the Sit-At-Home order will further stiffle life out of the region’s Economy.
We cannot afford to lose out on the gains of the first day of Economic activity in the region.
What is even more worrisome is the fact that the collapse of Economic Activities on Mondays is gradually being extended to some other days of the week. This is a terrible development and a threat to complete collapse of Economic activities in our region, should nothing be done to stem the tide.
3. We would love to observe that whilst a less than 20% in the region comply with the Sit-At-Home order in solidarity with Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the incarcerated leader of IPOB, a greater number of others comply due to concerns for their safety. Though some of Ndi-Igbo, who fell within this Category share some sentiments with the embattled IPOB leader, they are however more concerned with how the Sit-At-Home is fast diminishing their ability to take care of their families.
4. We wish to observe with disappointment that the compliance of Ndi-Igbo to Sit-At-Home despite the assurances of some Governors for indigenes to go about their businesses, leaves us with the question:
Is the Sit-At-Home instruction by the proscribed IPOB group more powerful than the go-to-work order by Constituted Authorities of the Five States in the region?
This indeed is suggestive of a Leadership gap in the South-East Region and necessity is laid on the South-East Governors to demonstrate to us that there is no parallel Government in the South-East.
4. We recall that during the COVID-19 lockdown order imposed by the Governors for indegenes to stay at home, the issue of compliance was not quite impressive .
How come IPOB is able to wield this kind of influence in the region with such level of compliance, despite the odds of proscription and the fact that IPOB was not elected to speak for the people?
6. We note that some Governors of the South East such as Willie Obiano of Anambra State and Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State have issued orders with corresponding threats of consequences of non-compliance, but we wish to remind them that threat and the use of force cannot handle what dialogue is designed to handle.
The level of low compliance to the Governors’ directives despite threats confirms that a Psychological operation to win back the hearts and confidence of the people will be far more reaching.
7. We therefore call on the South-East Governors to convene an emergency meeting first within themselves within the next 48hours and to follow it up with a multi-stakeholder consultative forum, with the intent to generate actionable ideas that will douse the rising tensions.
Dialogue and a possible impression on the Federal Government to consider Amnesty for Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and other IPOB members who are trapped in various cells across the country should be esteemed as an option.
The South-East Governors must act fast to ensure that a region known for peace does not descend further into anarchy and Economic Sabotage.
Ndi-Igbo are known for business and our Governors must ensure the environment is conducive for that to thrive.
2.Barrister Nnenna Anozie(Secretary)
3. Barrister Chigozie Nwabuko(Abia State)
4.Wilfred Okeke(Anambra State)
5.Prince Ozioma Ani(Enugu State)
6.Chima Vincent(Ebonyi State)
7. Chidimma Ibemere(Imo State)
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