Listen to article
No fewer than 106 shops and two banks were on Monday sealed by the Government of Enugu State for allegedly observing Monday’s sit-at-home order by a faction of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The Eastern Updates gathered that the exercise was carried out by officials of the State Government and Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority (ECTDA).
Recall that the Governor of the state, Peter Mbah had last Monday threatened to sanction shop owners and banks that refused to open for business in compliance with the illegal sit-at-home order.
Mbah issued the threat, while monitoring the situation in major markets in Enugu, the capital city.
According to him, traders who continued to obey the order up until July 24, stood to lose their shops to serious-minded businessmen.
The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Chidiebere Onyia, who led the exercise, said the action was in line with the governor’s warning.
Onyia said the governor’s intention was not to punish businesses but encourage and inculcate the spirit of ‘no sit-at-home’ in traders.
‘It is not a punitive but ownership culture, where all of us come together to fight the menace of illegal sit-at-home in the state.
‘We are taking it up not because Mbah is in the business of stopping economic growth but to fight those that think they can intimidate us,’ he said.
Onyia further said that the task force created by the State Government would be in the markets next Monday to continue to monitor the situation.
‘We have been to ShopRite, Celebrity – a shopping mall – SPAR and others, we saw shops that were not opened and we sealed them.
‘That is why ECTDA is here and the owners should go through a process to get them reopened,’ he said.
In the markets he visited, he claimed that 85% of the traders were present.
According to the SSG, the governor committed to providing security and buses at particular locations to transport employees to the state Secretariat.
He claimed that the state was tired of losing a lot of money by just working four days a week, which is why the action was required.
Onyia explained that he opened the Easter Shop early because the mall’s management had promised to do so every Monday.
Speaking with newsmen at the end of the exercise, the Head of ECTDA, Mr Gideon Onyia, said that the affected shops were both corporate and privately owned.
He said that 78 shops were sealed at the Ogbete Market, plus two new generation banks, five shops at SPAR and 24 shops at the Old Artisan Market.