Enugu Govt Threatens to Shut Down Schools, Markets over Sit-at-Home compliance

The Enugu State Government has threatened to shut down schools and markets that observe the illegal one-week sit-at-home order declared by a faction of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

In a statement released on Tuesday morning, July 4, the state government said it had received reports that some private schools in the state were sending messages to their students, informing them that they would not be required to attend classes from that day due to the sit-at-home order.

The statement, which was signed by Chidiebere Onyia, the Secretary to the State Government, said the government was “alarmed and dismayed” by this development. It warned that any school that fails to open and function normally from Tuesday will have its license revoked immediately.

The statement also warned market unions and shop owners in the state that all markets and shops must be open to customers from Tuesday or they will be shut down indefinitely.

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The government said it would not tolerate any attempt to disrupt the peace and normalcy in the state. It urged residents to go about their normal activities and ignore the sit-at-home order.

Part of the statement read,

“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 license 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 general public is urged to go about their normal daily activities as adequate security measures have been put in place to protect lives and property.

Government will 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. This is no longer acceptable and must be confronted and defeated with every power and resources at our disposal.”

The sit-at-home order was declared by Simon Ekpa, a self-proclaimed leader of the IPOB’s Autopilot faction. Ekpa said the order was in protest against the continued detention of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the IPOB.

Kanu is currently being held in detention in Nigeria on charges of treason. He was arrested in Kenya in June 2021 and ‘extradited’ to Nigeria.

The IPOB is a pro-Biafra group that seeks the independence of the southeastern region of Nigeria. The group has been accused of carrying out a number of violent attacks in the region.