Ebonyi State governor, David Umahi has urged the people of the state to ignore the sit-at-home order by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and go about their normal activities.
He stated this on Saturday in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital.
He said: “I have been getting voices from certain agitators that tomorrow there will be no movement, this is foolishness. If there is no movement in the southeast, is there no movement in the whole country? What an Ebonyi man will never accept is to go into second slavery under any guise.
“We know the Biafra we need is to have enough money so that we cleanse up the toga of the slavery that our brothers and sisters subjected us into when we were under what they want us to be under.
“We need money, if you love Ebonyi state, bring money, come up and put one construction. Let us see your houses and investments in Ebonyi state.
“So, I want to say that there will free movement throughout today, throughout tomorrow and ongoing.
“I challenge the youths, the local government Chairmen and the politicians, the stakeholders, the security agencies to ensure that nobody is molested and I have banned any form of procession or gathering till further notice in Ebonyi state.
“On Sunday, I will want people who are of Christian faith to go about their church services and pray for our nation, pray for the souls that have departed both during the war and now that people are being killed.
“On Monday, markets must be fully operational. Anybody whose store is not opened will forfeit the store. I ask the security agencies to massively deploy security people to protect Ebonyians everywhere.”
The governor advised any group involved in any form of agitation in the region to do so peacefully.
“Let us stay in peace, agitation does not mean violence. Agitation does not mean insulting leaders of this country, agitation does not mean killing security agencies. When Mandela fought for the liberation of South Africa, he was there.
“Let all the freedom fighters for southeast come down to southeast so that we can all be together. We should not stay outside the country and be vomiting rubbish and collecting hard currencies and be luring our people to be destroyed,” he said.
Said he: “Outright banning of open grazing presupposes that all herders engage in criminal activities. It is not correct to criminalise a whole occupation or ethnic group for the sins of few of their members.
“More distressing is absence of provision for a viable alternative that is practicable at this point in time.
“As far as many of us are concerned, outright banning of open grazing at a time when the majority of the landless herders do not have the wherewithal to establish and manage the modern ranches for performance, is not practicable without the support of governments that are reeling from paucity of funds.’
“To some of us, outright banning of open grazing without viable alternative is the same as asking our subsistent farmers to abandon subsistent farming with hoes and cutlasses in favour of modern farming and fence all their farms at a time the subsistent farmers do not have the wherewithal needed for modern farming.
“As an old pharmacist, I recall a time when sale of fake drugs killed thousands of Nigerians. But because the criminal elements were few in the business of sales of drugs, the nation did not criminalize pharmacy practices and sale of drugs but went as far as efforts could go to tame the sales of fake drugs. The rest, they say, is history.
Credit: The Nation