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By Hon. Sunny Nwodo

It is no longer news that the residents of some parts of South-East, especially Enugu State, out of phobia infused on them by hoodlums, agents and enforcers of the illegal sit-at-home order unwittingly subjected and imposed on them to observe have done more harm than good to our economy. Recall that sit-at-home was ordered initially by the supreme leader of indigenous people of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu as a strategy to compel the Federal Government of Nigeria to conduct referendum and by so doing actualize his secessionist mission. It is pertinent to note that Mazi Kanu’s own version of sit- at- home order was then somehow a template, emotion-ladden and people-oriented.

Remarkably, the pace-setter and initiator of sit-at-home order, Mazi Kanu at a point realized that sit-at-home order as a strategy was not feasible even before his extra-judicial rendition from Kenya to Nigeria. And who is that fool that would be applying the same methodology and expecting a different result? First hand information had it from sent emissaries to Mazi Kanu right in the DSS confinement that Mazi he called for peace and calmness in the South-East and equally reaffirmed and reiterated his stance in the abolition of illegal sit-at-home order which hoodlums had highjacked for their selfish aggrandizment immediately after the extra- judicial rendition and detention of Mazi Kanu, following the multiplication of fake or make-believe IPOB groups and commanders, the likes of Simon Ekpa, dishing out senseless sit- at- home order in the South-East.

Apparently, the enemies of South-East are at work. Of course their mission to stagnate the economy of South-East would not be accomplished without enemy within. When the biblical Jesus Christ was to be captured and executed the agent Pharisees used to perfect their plans was one of Christ apostles, Judas Iscariot. In the same vein, the enemies of South-East have almost succeeded in stagnating and grounding the South-East economy through the infiltration of few gullible South Easterners as agents.The South-East people should be eager to learn from history, if the South-West did not toe the part of sit-at-home order as panacea to the detention of the trio, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Moshood Olawole Abiola and Fela Anikulapo Kuti by the then Federal Government of Nigeria, why would South-East people prefer to be sabotaging her own economy in the name of sit-at-home order? There should be a change of approach.

The inhabitants of South-East were originally known for their industrious dexterity in commerce and industry cum other socio-economic spheres akin to Western Mercantilism. A region that had recorded the highest economic growth in the world with appreciable 60% increase in 1960’s during regionalism. How are the mighty fallen? As a result of the illegal sit-at-home order by Simon Ekpa from the comfort of his residence in Finland a lot of lives and properties worth billions of naira have been destroyed. The immediate and direct blunt of havoc and burden are unleashed on the poor masses who depend on their daily hustle for survival; whereas, at the extreme and macro level the South-East partrimonial economy is being stagnated and retrogressed. Ordinarily, economy can only thrive exponentially if there’s law and order occasioned by adequate security to safeguard lives and properties.

Regrettably, the incessant sit-at-home order in South-East has forced businesses to start moving gradually from Onitsha, Anambra State to Asaba, Delta State. Rethorically, which owner of a company would prefer to be shutting down his business on Mondays? Kudos to Gov. Charlse Soludo of Anambra State who has risen to the challenge of restorating business in the state by placing embargo on sit-at-home order in Anambra State. Majority of South-Eastern leaders had earlier advocated for the abrogation of the illegal sit-at-home order, but those selfishly benefiting from this obnoxious act has continued to beguile the people, claiming they are enforcing sit-at-home order because of Mazi Kanu’s detention. And I ask, who’s crying more than the bereaved? Mazi Kalu himself had repeatedly called for the abolition of the devilish sit-at-home order. The irony of the whole situation is that currently, sit-at-home order is not being observed in Ebonyi State, where Simon Ekpa hails from neither is it being observe in Abia State or Umuahia, the hometown of Mazi Kanu. If the two states aren’t observing sit-at- home order, why Enugu State?

Many thanks to the executive governor of Enugu State, Barr. Peter Ndubuisi Mbah, who like his Anambra State counterpart upon his swearing-in as the executive governor of the state immediately paid a courtesy visit to president Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the presidential villa, Abuja in a bid to negotiate, make case and secure the release of Mazi Kanu in the spirit of national healing and inclusiveness, following his official announcement putting to an end the illegal sit-at-home order imposed on the masses by non-state actors. Subsequently, Gov. Mbah engaged stakeholders, traditional rulers, town union PGs, security chiefs, clergymen and market leaders in a town hall meeting to chart a new course and the way forward for Ndi Enugu to sustain the abrogated sit-at-home. It would be recalled that Gov. Mbah during his electioneering camping promised Ndi Enugu of growing the economy from the current $4.4 billion GDP to $30 billion in a period of 8 years. Ndi Enugu cannot afford to miss this golden opportunity now that we have got it right in Gov. Mbah by complying with his directives about sit-at-home order as he has assured and reassured the masses, civil servants, traders and artisans to go about their legitimate businesses on Mondays without fear of attack as there has been adequate deployment of security personnel in strategic places, both physically and technologically to secure lives and property.

Now is the time for Ndi Enugu to collectively say no to this economic cankerworm called sit-at-home order before it kills our economy.

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