By Alex Enebeli
Enugu State Government has threatened to shut down schools, markets observing one week illegal sit-at- home order by the the self- acclaimed factional leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Simon Ekpa.
This is contained in a statement by the
Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Chidiebere Onyia on Tuesday in Enugu.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ekpa had on June 14 in a letter to all Igbos, declared total lockdown from July 3 to 10 excluding July 6.
According to Onyia, Enugu State Government is alarmed and dismayed by this development and hereby warns that any school that fails to open and function normally on Tuesday will have its licence revoked immediately.
He added that the State Government also extended the same warning to market unions and shop owners in the state.
He said, “The attention of the Enugu State Government has been drawn to reports on social media this Tuesday morning that proprietors of private schools in the state are sending messages to their pupils and students to stay at home.
“This is on account of the illegal one week sit-at-home order allegedly declared by faceless non-state actors in the state.
“All markets and shops in the various markets must be open to customers from today or be shut down indefinitely.”
Onyia said the state government reiterated its ban on any form of illegal sit-at-home in all parts of the state, as it was evil and antithetical to all values they hold dear as a people, such as the Igbo spirit of industry, hardwork, creativity and productivity.
He urged the general public to go about their normal daily activities as adequate security measures had been put in place to protect lives and property.
“Government will no longer sit by and watch faceless groups and misguided individuals issue illegal orders, dictating to us how to lead our lives, when to go to work or market and when our children go to school.
“This is no longer acceptable and must be confronted and defeated with every power and resources at our disposal,” Onyia said.
He further stated that the state government also warned that it would deploy the full instrumentality of the law such as the Cybercrime Act 2015 to go after and prosecute anybody, individuals, groups and organisations intentionally encouraging the illegal sit-at-home order.
This, he said, include those instilling fear on residents, raising false alarm to disturb public peace and others through fake news sharing and propagation of falsehood connected with the illegal sit-at-home order on social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter.
“This, however, is by no means, depriving citizens freedom of speech and information as enshrined in the constitution,” Onyia explained. (NAN)