Awka – Residents of Anambra State, especially traders, have urged the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, to rescind the call to lockdown the South East region every Monday, saying the impact is not the best for Ndigbo.
They argued that, shutting down the South East region as directed by IPOB may inflict more problems on the people already burdened with lots of hardship.
According to them, IPOB needs to adopt another method that will not be very detrimental to the growth of the economy of the region, as the struggle continues.
Recall that IPOB had withdrawn the directive to lockdown the region last two weeks.
However, fear of attacks has made it impossible for the people of the state to go about their normal activities, especially as some quarters within the ranks of the IPOB had disagreed with the call-off of the ‘Ghost Mondays’ directive.
In a chat with TNC correspondent in Onitsha, some traders said although the idea of the sit-at-home is not too bad so as to get justice for the detained IPOB leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, it is now affecting the people.
A market leader in Drug market Onitsha who pleaded anonymity lamented that although the gates of the market are usually open every Monday, no trading activities happen due to the fear of unknown attackers.
“Every morning we inform our members that we would open the markets. But there is a fear they have created among the people that makes them to avoid the markets on Mondays. Even after we make the announcements, the touts go round and say theirs. We plead with IPOB to dissociate itself from the sit-at-home. The same way they asked people to sit at home, they should also mobilize the people to come out again. I believe this will work,” he said.
Another trader, Nwoye Ikenna, noted that the sit at home is badly affecting business, transportation of goods and other activities in the region, and if allowed to continue to October 21st set aside for arraignment of Mazi Kanu before court, it may cripple many businesses.
However, some are of the opinion that the government should engage IPOB and other agitators in the country for immediate dialogue, saying the current position is a sign that all is still not well and there is urgent need for dialogue.
Emma Okoye, a plumber believes that at the root of the problem is the disagreement between the ruling class in the region and the secessionist group.
According to him, what is important is an understanding that both are fighting the same cause-the emancipation of the Southeast.
“Unless government is trying to let us know that they do not have the interest of our people at heart, as they have shown the body language. The massive compliance with the IPOB order, even when the government says otherwise, goes to show the people’s general resentment over the way governance is done. The governors of the region have failed us and we prefer to heed a directive by IPOB than those of the government. So, if we want to stop this now, the government must meet with the IPOB leadership and fashion out ways to stop it, oe of which I believe, should include, resorting to people-centric governance,” he suggested.
Also contributing, a business owner in Onitsha who pleaded anonymity said he is not bothered about the sit at home in as much it is for justice and for the right thing to be done.
“If it is this sit-at-home that will bring the emancipation of the Southeast, then let it be. We stayed for months during the COVID challenge and we didn’t die. It is surprising how our people are complaining about this simple directive. The condition of Ndigbo has continued to deteriorate in Nigeria and we want to use this medium to register our displeasure over the happenings,” he said.