Abuja, Nigeria – In a recent security meeting convened by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Nuhu Ribadu, Governor Alex Otti of Abia State expressed his strong opposition to the sit-at-home order issued by a faction of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), led by Simon Ekpa. The governor emphasized that the residents of Abia State cannot afford to stay at home for two weeks, as it would have severe economic consequences.
Governor Otti’s remarks were made during the meeting attended by the governors of the South East states, including Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo. The purpose of the meeting was to address the rising issue of insecurity in the region.
In a press release issued by Mr. Kazie Uko, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Abia State, Otti stated that only a few individuals were benefiting from the sit-at-home order, using fear as a tool to intimidate the people. He firmly asserted that the government cannot sit idly by and allow them to succeed.
“Governments all over the world cannot be threatened, and we need to sound that note of warning,” Otti declared. He further emphasized the importance of citizens’ ability to carry out their daily activities, highlighting the impact the order would have on vulnerable individuals who rely on daily income.
The governor empathized with the taxi drivers, keke drivers, and market traders who would suffer greatly if forced to stay at home for two weeks. “If a woman selling pepper in the market sits at home for two weeks, she will die of hunger,” Otti expressed, emphasizing the dire consequences of the sit-at-home order.
Otti firmly declared the order as null and void, signaling the state government’s refusal to comply with the directive. He urged the residents of Abia State to continue their daily activities and not succumb to fear.
The security meeting was attended by several high-ranking officials, including Imo State Governor Senator Hope Uzodimma, who was present in person. The remaining governors were represented by their respective delegates. The Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Christopher Musa, and other senior military and police officers were also in attendance.
Governor Otti’s rejection of the sit-at-home order aligns with the growing concerns over the economic impact of such directives. The order, if followed, would disrupt the livelihoods of countless individuals who rely on daily income to support themselves and their families.
In recent years, Nigeria has witnessed an increase in regional tensions and calls for secession. While the grievances of various groups must be acknowledged, it is crucial to find peaceful and inclusive solutions that do not further marginalize or harm vulnerable communities.
As Governor Otti takes a firm stance against the sit-at-home order, it remains to be seen how other state governments and the federal government will respond. The issue of insecurity in the South East region continues to be a pressing concern, and concerted efforts are needed to address the root causes and ensure the safety and well-being of all citizens.