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Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu has issued a firm warning, stating that traders who observe the sit-at-home order called by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on the forthcoming Monday risk losing their shops and licenses.
While inspecting various parts of the state capital on Monday to assess compliance with his order, Governor Mbah restated this warning.
In a recent report, The Eastern Updates highlighted that Governor Mbah had put an end to the order just days after assuming his position, effective from June 5.
He firmly stated his belief that such orders impede creativity, entrepreneurship, and productivity within the state, and issued a strong warning of possible closures for schools, markets, financial institutions, and other entities that adhere to the order.
He cautioned traders against continuing the sit-at-home from Monday, July 24, and stated that they could potentially forfeit their shops to more committed entrepreneurs.
He affirmed that robust security measures had been implemented in those localities, highlighting the absence of any documented attacks since the sit-at-home ban in June.
Addressing traders at Ogbete, Garki, and other markets, the governor firmly warned that the closure of shops on Mondays would no longer be allowed.
‘But you know, there are also consequences for not heeding our orders. Going forward, I want to put you on notice.’
‘I will go around again on Monday next week. We are going to come with the Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority to put a seal on any shop that is found locked on Monday because of the illegal sit-at-home order.’
‘We will take it that you are not ready to do business.’
‘We are going to revoke your license. We will revoke your shop title and reallocate it to someone else who is ready to do business. This is something we must enforce with effect from Monday next week,’ he cautioned.
Mbah, who took time to interact with business owners, shoppers, traders as well as civil servants at the State Secretariat, said ‘it should never be heard that we were cowed because of the threat of violence by these criminals.’
He further stated that ‘the poverty that will befall us for sitting at home will kill us even faster.’
‘We are losing over N10 billion every Monday that we sit at home. Enough is enough. This foolishness must end and it must end now. We cannot be marginalising ourselves and still complain of marginalisation.’
‘So, we must say no to sit-at-home because what it means is that we are destroying our employment, our economy, and our GDP.’
Upon meeting with the governor, market leaders and business owners stated their determination for full compliance, emphasizing their weariness and discontent with the Monday sit-at-home.
At the meeting with Ogbete traders, Comrade Stephen Aniagu, the President of Enugu State Amalgamated Traders Association, confirmed to the governor their collective decision to commence full business, assuring that all shops would be operational from the following Monday.
During the discussion, Bernard Anike, the leader of Abakpa Nike Market, confirmed to the governor that they had proactively commenced compliance with the ban.