Enugu state residents and civil society organizations (CSOs) staged a protest on Monday against the banned weekly “sit-in-at-home” order by the Simon Ekpa faction of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The protesters who gathered at the popular Michael Okpara Square as early as 8:00am marched through Presidential Road, Ogui Road, Ogbete Main Market, Okpara Avenue, Garden Avenue, New Haven, Bisala Road and back to Okpara Square.
They carried signs and placards that read “Enough,” “Do not sit at home in Enugu,” “Let the Poor Breathe,” “Our Mumu Don Do,” “Enugu people must be freed from the bondage of those who want to oppress,” and so on.
Mrs Onyinye Mammah, the Executive Director, Heroine Women Foundation, who spoke on behalf of the coordinators, said they decided to take the bold initiative following the devastating effects the every Monday “Sit-At-Home“ order were having on state’s economy and that of the entire South-East.
She said the protesters were residents, civil society organizations, the media, members of women’s organizations, and representatives from the state’s 17 council districts.
“How can you keep doing something that didn’t benefit you from the start?
We pay tuition and our children don’t go to school and businesses close on Mondays.
“Some people have chosen to create anarchy, take control of the law, and make life awkward for others.
“We cannot continue like this, which is why we believe it is necessary to support Governor Peter Mba’s efforts to end Monday’s stay-at-home order,” she said.
One protester, Mr Arthur Edeh, described the sit-at-home order as a cancer to the people of Enugu, its economy and development, pointing out that anyone telling Enugu residents to sit at home is an enemy of the state.
According to him, whoever that lives abroad and is telling people of the South-East to “Sit-At-Home“ on Mondays do not have their interest at heart.
“People should feel free to go about their business.
The safety net in Enugu is huge and no one should threaten you with an illegal ‘stay at home order’, he advised.
Nsukka Council Area representative Emeka Nwangwu said they joined the protest because they were fed up with the order “sit at home”, “I came from Nsukka to support our governor to end this menace and I am here also to inform our people that Nsukka is free from Mondays “Sit-At-Home“ directive.
Opi, Nsukka, Ugwuogo Nike Road are free of movement and people are free to travel at any time without risk and attack.
I advise our people to come out en masse to support our governor as we are losing a lot by sitting at home,” he said.