Gov. Peter Mbah of Enugu has threatened that traders in Enugu who observe next Monday’s sit-at-home order by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) will lose their shops and licenses.
Mr Mbah stated this when he toured various parts of the state capital on Monday to monitor the level of compliance with his ban on the order.
Mr Mbah, a few days after his assumption of office, announced an end to the order, effective from June 5.
He had said that such orders restrict creativity, entrepreneurship, and productivity in the state and threatened to close any school, markets, financial institutions, among others, that obey the order.
The governor warned that traders, who continued to sit at home from Monday, July 24, stood to lose their shops to serious-minded businessmen.
He said that adequate security had been provided in the areas, adding that there had not been any incident of attack since the ban on sit-at-home in June.
To the traders at Ogbete, Garki, and other markets, the governor warned that locking shops on Mondays would no longer be condoned.
“But you know, there are also consequences for not heeding our orders. Going forward, I want to put you on notice.
“I will go around again on Monday next week. We are going to come with the Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority to put a seal on any shop that is found locked on Monday because of the illegal sit-at-home order.
“We will take it that you are not ready to do business.
“We are going to revoke your license. We will revoke your shop title and reallocate it to someone else who is ready to do business. This is something we must enforce with effect from Monday next week,” he warned.
Mr Mbah, who took time to interact with business owners, shoppers, traders, and civil servants at the State Secretariat, said, “it should never be heard that we were cowed because of the threat of violence by these criminals”.
He added that “the poverty that will befall us for sitting at home will kill us even faster.
“We are losing over N10 billion every Monday that we sit at home. Enough is enough. This foolishness must end and it must end now. We cannot be marginalising ourselves and still complain of marginalisation.
“So, we must say no to sit-at-home because what it means is that we are destroying our employment, our economy, and our GDP.”
Meanwhile, the market leaders and business owners have assured the governor that they were now ready for full compliance, saying they were already sick and tired of the Monday sit-at-home.
At the meeting with the Ogbete traders, president of Enugu state amalgamated traders association, Stephen Aniagu, assured the governor that they had already agreed to commence full business, saying all shops would be opened from next Monday.
Also, the leader of Abakpa Nike market, Bernard Anike, assured the governor that they had since started complying with the ban.
Mr Mbah, who visited Spar Mall, Roban Stores at Bisalla Road, Market Square, Shoprite, Zenith Bank at Ogui Road, Celebrities, Ogbete Market, Garki Awkunanaw Market, Mayor Market, Abakpa Market, and the State Secretariat, among others, lauded the level of compliance.