Abia Govt threatens to seal markets, motor unions that comply with Sit at home order

By Ugochukwu Alaribe – Umuahia

Abia State Government has threatened to seal markets and motor unions that fail to open for normal activities during the Sit at home order on Monday.

It warned market and transport unions in the state to ensure that markets are open while transport vehicles are deployed on the roads by their members.

“Any market that is closed or transport union that fails to operate will be closed and disbanded, respectively, by the government till further notice.

In a statement signed by the Commissioner or Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, the government said it cannot afford to sit idly and watch the future of students and economic well-being jeopardized over the lingering sit-at-home illegally enforced by a group of hoodlums hiding under the identity of agitators in the southeast region to cause chaos in the State.

The statement directed security agencies in the state to deploy at all flash points on Monday and maintain regular patrols to ensure the safety and protection of law-abiding citizens and visitors.

“The leaders of all market and transport unions in the state are hereby advised to ensure that markets are open and transport vehicles deployed by their members for regular activities on Monday and beyond unless otherwise advised by Government. Any market that is closed or transport union that fails to operate will be closed and disbanded, respectively, by government till further notice. We cannot continue to cut our nose to spite our face.”

“We wish to state categorically that it is unacceptable to allow any individual or group to instill fear in our people to the extent of negatively impacting the education of our innocent school children who are billed to write the compulsory English examination of the West African School Certificate Examination (WASCE) on Monday, 13th September and Tuesday, 14th September, and on the rights of other law abiding citizens.”

It urged parents to ensure that their children go to the examination centres while teachers and examination supervisors are to ensure the protection of the children.

Assuring that it is committed to protecting all residents of the state, the statement tasked residents to report any individual or group that attempts to molest, intimidate or stop law abiding citizens from exercising their freedom of movement to the police.

“Our people are wise and historically known to exercise wisdom in handling issues no matter the provocation. It is unthinkable that any Igbo man will want to cut his nose to spite his face especially in these circumstances that may adversely affect the future of our innocent children.

“We must rise collectively to do the needful: protect our children’s education and ensure that those who may wish us evil as a people do not succeed in provoking us to destroy our means of livelihood at a time we are yet to recover from the economic challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 and EndSARS protests that necessitated the prolonged shut down of businesses.

“As a responsible government, we will continue to explore all avenues to ensure peaceful resolution of the issues that have led to the agitations by the concerned non-state actors but we will not shirk our responsibility to the majority of our people who are also suffering silently out of no fault of theirs.”

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