Sit-At-Home Scare In Southeast Nigeria 

By Raymond Ozoji, Awka
Children in some parts of the Southeast states do not go to school on Mondays or any day declared sit-at-home not public holidays. Same applies to big shopping malls like Roban Stores, Spar, ShopRite and some other big markets like Ogbete main market, Onitsha main market, Nnewi Automobile market and many markets in Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo and Abia States. They do not open for business until about 3 or 4pm on Mondays or any day declared sit-at-home in the region.
Operators of petrol stations, food vendors and other petty traders are reluctant to do their businesses on Mondays due to the sit-at-home scare in the region.
Although the Southeast state governments from investigations have shown uncommon commitments to conquering sit-at-home palaver in their respective states, there is always panic in the air whenever people defy the sit-at-home order to move around on Mondays or any day of the week declared as such.
Every child below six years of age in the Southeast region has come to terms with the sad reality of Monday sit-at-home. They now know that Monday is no longer one of the days they go to school. Banks and other corporate organisations are not exonerated as they operate secretly and scantily on Mondays due to the sit-at-home scare.
While Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo and Abia State Governments have all declared Operation No More Sit-At-Home coupled with compulsory attendance to work for civil servants on Mondays and other sit-at-home days, the underlining truth remains that commercial activities for Mondays have been crippled in the Southeast due to the sit-at-home menace.
Although the likes of Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State had passionately appealed to the Federal Government to end insecurity (sit-at-home) in the Southeast by releasing Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) from detention, the government of the federation has not seen reasons to do so, hence it is still procrastinating while insecurity and sit-at-home escalate in the Southeast.
Proponents of the sit-at-home order claim that it was instituted in solidarity with the IPOB leader who hails from the Southeast region. That the Monday sit-at-home was instituted as work-free day to pray for good health and release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu from prolonged detention. But the purpose for the institution of the sit-at-home order in the Southeast region seems to have been defeated as criminal elements now capitalize on it to unleash terror and mayhem on innocent unsuspecting citizens in the region.
Although state capitals in the Southeast geopolitical zone may not feel the brunt of the sit-at-home menace, the big question is what happens in places like Ihiala, Orsu, Oru, Orlu and other interior communities in Southeast on Mondays? Night life in the region has virtually become extinct due to insecurity.
Hence, Osita Obi, the Convener Recover Nigeria Project, believes that Anambra State has not conquered sit-at-home. Obi said Anambra workers now use the Monday sit-at-home as excuse not to come to work. He believes equally that insecurity in the Southeast can be arrested if traditional rulers and Presidents-general of communities are involved in the safety and security of the people.
Obi, who is also the Coordinator and Convener Anambra Keke Drivers Forum, maintained that social life had become extinct in the state except only in the state capital Awka. He said there was no night life in Onitsha and other communities and that the state government had not done much in protecting the lives and properties of the citizenry.
Also, Engr. Sam Oraegbunam, who is the Assistant State Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Anambra, corroborated what Osita Obi said, saying that Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo had not done much to conquer the Monday sit-at-home in the state. Oraegbunam noted that the Governors of Imo and Ebonyi States had stopped the Monday sit-at-home in their respective states and that economic activities were booming. He said that the Anambra State Government has continued to lie to the citizens that it has conquered sit-at-home yet nothing happens in Anambra State on Mondays.
On the other hand, Basil Ejidike, State Chairman of the APC in Anambra, opined that individual state efforts might not be adequately enough to fight insecurity in the region; that the Governors of the Southeast need to synergize as well as cross-pollinate ideas in order to end insecurity (sit-at-home) in the region. He said that the government of Professor Soludo has not really done much in the area of security when compared to what is happening in Ebonyi and Enugu States respectively.
Ejidike recalled that Police Stations, patrol vehicles and other items destroyed by hoodlums years back have not been rebuilt or replaced, hence the Police have no logistic equipment to function effectively. He however emphasized that government should realise that her first primary assignment is the protection of lives and properties. He was also of the opinion that most of the vehicles being used by the police in Anambra State were vehicles provided by Dr. Chris Ngige and Peter Obi’s regime.
Ejidike, who is also the coordinating Chairman of Southeast APC chairmen, advised the APGA-led state government in Anambra to make conscious effort to rebuild all the police stations that were damaged by hoodlums years ago to enable people have access to Police stations where they can lodge their complaints and get redress.
The Chief Security Officer of Nkpor community, Idemili-North local government area of Anambra State and National Coordinator Community Policing Partners, Chief Chris Udeze, observed that Governor Soludo is making frantic efforts to ending the Monday sit-at-home this new year. Udeze noted that people transact their business on Mondays without panic whatsoever.
The security expert who observed that Anambra State and the entire Southeast have been short-changed by the Monday sit-at-home, maintained that Governor Soludo should be commended because the security situation in the state is improving, describing the development as best for the citizenry.
He also observed that night life was gradually picking up in the state especially at Nkpor his community where he said that people still spent time in beer parlours late into the night without harassment from hoodlums, adding that efforts were being intensified to eliminate the Monday sit-at-home completely from Anambra State and Southeast in general.

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