Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State undertook a tour of various areas in the state capital on Monday to oversee compliance with the ban on sit-at-home orders.
During his inspection, the governor visited Spar Mall, Roban Stores on Bisalla Road, Market Square, Shoprite, Zenith Bank on Ogui Road, Celebrities, Ogbete Market, Garki Awkunanaw Market, Mayor Market, Abakpa Market, and the State Secretariat. Governor Mbah commended the residents for adhering to the ban on sit-at-home.
However, despite the government’s warning of permanent closure for businesses that refused to open during the sit-at-home period, some establishments in the city remained shut on Monday.
The sit-at-home initiative was initiated by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to demand the release of their detained leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
In another development, there was chaos at the Enugu State University Teaching Hospital (ESUT-Parklane) as workers hurriedly signed the attendance register at the office of the Chief Medical Director, Prof. Hypcinth Onah, to avoid government sanctions. According to reports, the hospital management informed the staff that failure to attend work on Mondays, or any other day in the name of sit-at-home, would result in a 25% deduction from their salaries.
This measure was introduced following a meeting between the governor and various heads of government agencies and parastatals to compel workers to resume work and break the cycle of sit-at-home protests on Mondays in the state.
Governor Mbah had previously declared the ban on sit-at-home in June, citing its negative impact on the state’s economy. To enforce the ban, the governor mandated all civil servants to sign an attendance register on Mondays. At the state teaching hospital, workers were required to sign in by 8:30 am and sign out at 4 pm.
To avoid potential sanctions and attacks by pro-Biafran sit-at-home enforcers, some workers resorted to staying overnight at the hospital on Sundays, ensuring they could sign the attendance register before the 8:30 am deadline on Mondays.
Meanwhile, schools, particularly government-owned secondary schools, opened but experienced low student attendance.
During his tour, Governor Mbah reiterated the threat of permanent closure for businesses that persistently remained shut on Mondays. He assured the public that adequate security measures were in place and emphasized that there had been no attacks since the ban on sit-at-home was imposed in June.
Interacting with business owners, shoppers, traders, and civil servants at the state secretariat, the governor emphasized that they should not be intimidated by the threat of violence from these criminals. He highlighted the economic losses incurred from sitting at home every Monday, stating that the poverty resulting from such inactivity would have a devastating impact. Governor Mbah urged the people to reject the sit-at-home order, considering it a shameful chapter that should be forgotten. He stressed the importance of working diligently on every working day to drive employment, stimulate the economy, and improve the GDP of the state.
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