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IPOB’s sit-at-home order, worst thing that can happen to Southeast, leaves its economy crippled — Ebonyi Gov. Umahi

“That is why some people in Southeast are afraid of coming out. Even if you go now to the street and hold AK 47, you will see that everybody will desert the street. So it is not a question of compliance, it is a question of fear.

A deserted street in South-east Nigeria

 

Ebonyi Gov. Dave Umahi says the “sit-at-home’’ order by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to people in the Southeast is the worst thing that can happen to the zone as it has crippled its economy.

According to the governor, the order is not in the best interest of the people as fear of being attacked or killed has continued to keep them indoors thereby denying them the opportunities of going about their businesses.

“Well, I think it is not more or less complying with the directive of IPOB or no IPOB, suspended or not suspended. It is a question of fear. You know, the easiest thing to do is to carry weapon and kill somebody and that is what happened in the past.

“That is why some people in Southeast are afraid of coming out. Even if you go now to the street and hold AK 47, you will see that everybody will desert the street. So it is not a question of compliance, it is a question of fear.

“The security agencies can have enough personnel in the South East. You will find out that no Southeast man wants to miss a day of work. They like to work, they are into trade, commerce, and they want to earn their daily living.

“So this is something that the nation Nigeria must know. And it is something that security agencies must know. Security agencies must know that they owe Southeast people the duty to protect their lives and this is the reason why it appears that in some states that is in compliance of sit-at-home.

“Even though like you said, IPOB has said, it is suspended. But it is the worst thing to happen to Southeast because it will destroy the economy of Southeast,’’ Umahi, who recently defected from the PDP to APC, told State House correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The governor said that the leaders of the zone in collaboration with Ohaneze Ndigbo are working together on the grievances of the youths of the area who protested what they called marginalization of the zone and present same to the President.

On the purpose of his visit to the president, Umahi said: “I came to see Mr. President. One is to thank him very highly for a number of mega projects that he is doing in the Southeast. The second Niger bridge is fast becoming a reality. Each time we visit that bridge location is always like a dream. So we the people of Southeast are very grateful to Mr. President for this.

“We also thank him for the award of the Eastern corridor of the railway line. This is a project that is going to fast track the commercial activities of our people. I recall that when I was in school, I used to join train from my state, Ebonyi, to Maiduguri where my brothers were staying for the holidays.

“Mr. President is about restoring that hope. We are deeply very grateful. But I also reminded Mr. President that one of his cardinal objective is to integrate in South East or the state capitals, but in putting together the project through South East that the capital of Ebonyi state, which is Abakaliki and capital of Anambra state, which is Akwa, were omitted.

“I reminded Mr. President that the Southeast governors had requested that I write which I did, but is not yet approved to the Honourable Minister of Transport which Mr. President said he will find out why they were omitted in the first place. I am very, very hopeful that Mr President is going to give approval to those two locations.

“ And also the limestone granules to fast track the fertilizer presidential initiative which has helped the country Nigeria so much in food sufficiency.

“Mr. President has already approved the funds and released to Solid Mineral Development Fund. But part of the requirement is that there must be SPV – integration of private sector initiative.’’

Umahi announced that President Buhari will visit Ebonyi in November this year to inaugurate about 20 projects comprising roads, medical centres, malls, bridges among others.

On efforts by leaders in the zone to get presidential slot, the governor said it was “too early to start the 2023 presidential race and is distracting to talk about it’’.

“My position about what you ask is that our people that are in those political parties are making the efforts in selling the need for Southeast to produce the next
president. But I think both the governors and Mr. President should not be distracted.

“When the elections are done and won, the next thing should be governance. But in this country, the moment the election is completed, the next thing is to start talking about next election and it is the masses that are being cheated.

“But I continue to say that power rest in the hands of God and we pray that God will also give us the next president who has a good heart like President Buhari for the good of this country.’’

 

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Written by Per Second News

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