Ebonyi's Governor Umahi threatens to seize shops of traders who obey Ipob's sit-at-home order

EBONYI State governor David Umahi has threatened to confiscate the shops of any trader who participates in today's sit-at-home protest called by the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob) called for today to mark the Biafran Remembrance Day celebrations.


On May 30 1967, the Republic of Biafra was declared, sparking the Nigerian Civil War, which lasted until January 1970. Earlier this week, several Biafran groups announced that they will celebrate the 51st anniversary of the declaration and Ipob declared it will use the occasion to not mark the event but also highlight the ongoing killing of Biafrans by herdsmen and soldiers.


Ipob spokesman Emma Powerful, said “Our May 30th sit-at-home order is sacrosanct and shall be observed annually until the end of time. May 30 2018 will witness a total lock-down of the southeast, south-south and selected states and cities across Nigeria.


Speaking earlier today in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, Governor Umahi warned that any traders who observed the sit-at-home order will permanently forfeit their shops. Addressing the people at the 2018 democracy day celebration, the governor noted that such order would not be observed in the state, pointing out that Ebonyi was terribly marginalised during its days in the old Anambra, Enugu and Abia states and was now making efforts to find its feet.


 Governor Umahi said: "We do not need distractions or a second colonisation as we continue to believe in God to change our narrative with no man born of a woman setting us back. Any trader that closes shop on the day will forfeit it forever and any protest will be decisively dealt with.


“Ebonyi indigenes should go about their businesses peacefully and safely and if the southeast governors say we don’t want Ipob activities, it does not mean that we are happy with the zone’s marginalisation in the country. We call on the Federal Government to look into the plight of south-east and address the issue of marginalisation because we believe in one Nigeria that will enshrine justice and fairness."


He noted that the manner in which Ipob was pursuing its course was not right as Ohaneze Ndigbo took the right action in the comity of Igbo sons and daughters. Governor Umahi used the occasion to reel out his government’s achievements in education, health, agriculture, infrastructure development, commerce and industry and human empowerment among other sectors.


Governor Umahi commended the organisers of the event and the chairmen of the 13 local government areas of the state for its success, noting that mobilisation of citizens was awesome. He added that he asked for 1m people to be mobilised for the event but the organisers managed to get 1.2m people which shows their confidence in his government.