Sit-at-home: S-East govts vow to deal with Simon Ekpa, others
Southeast Nigerian state governments, including Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi, and Imo, have pledged not to bow to the influence of non-state actors who disrupt governance in the region.
This response follows the declaration by Simon Ekpa, a factional leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), that a two-week sit-at-home protest would take place in the Southeast from July 31st to August 14th. Ekpa specified the schedule, including total lockdowns and market openings on specific days.
In response, the Anambra government dismissed Ekpa as a fugitive and urged citizens to ignore him, emphasizing that the state would not observe any sit-at-home order from him.
The government asserted that the imposition of such orders by unauthorized individuals or groups is a violation of the law. Similarly, an official from the Enugu State government labeled Ekpa a villain and criminal, stating that the illegal sit-at-home had ended in Enugu.
The official warned anyone supporting Ekpa to rethink their actions, as security forces would deal with them.
Governor Francis Nwifuru of Ebonyi State clarified that there was no sit-at-home in the state, referring to recent incidents as the work of miscreants attempting to instill fear and disrupt activities. The police in Ebonyi State had not issued an official statement regarding Ekpa’s sit-at-home declaration.
Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), called on Southeast governors to ensure that people are not overwhelmed by miscreants enforcing the sit-at-home orders. He criticized Ekpa for endangering the lives and properties of the region’s residents, suggesting alternative methods to pressure the federal government to release Nnamdi Kanu.
The Imo State Police Command assured the public that they were addressing the situation and that proactive security measures had been implemented to prevent further disturbances. The command condemned the actions of suspected IPOB members seen shooting and attacking residents, stating that they would deal ruthlessly with any subversive criminal syndicate or individual enforcing the sit-at-home order or engaging in other criminal activities.