Anambra Govt and the Lockdown Challenge

The Monday Sit-at-Home order given by the secessionist group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), may have been called off but the people of the state have chosen to remain indoors despite pleas by the IPOB group and the Anambra State Government for them to come out.

A few months ago, the Anambra State Governor went out to the streets and major markets in Awka to assure the people of Anambra State that it was safe for them to go to their work places and return to their businesses on Mondays.

Government workers were also threatened with losing their jobs if they did not comply with the new directive given by the government for them to ignore the stay-home order.

The directive also came with the assurance that adequate security would be provided for those who went about their daily businesses on such Mondays.

However, because of the rate at which people are attacked on such days, many people have decided to stay at home, not out of loyalty to the IPOB cause, but out of real fear. The fear is not helped by their belief that government is incapable of protecting them.

Bandits and hoodlums now have a field day in towns like Onitsha and Nnewi, attacking people who dare to come out to earn their livelihood on such days.

They usually constitute themselves into gangs and roam the empty streets on such days, looking for ”defaulters” whom they extort money from. Sometimes they also rob their victims. Some people have also had their vehicles burnt or destroyed.

To such gangs, the sit-at-home days have become big opportunities to make quick money and it is no wonder that such gangs are suspected to be the ones opposing directives from IPOB for people to go about their businesses. It is therefore the fear of falling victim to these hoodlums that has forced many law abiding people to adopt the option of staying at home.

Against this background, it has become expedient that the government understands the need for them to provide adequate security for the people of the state if it hopes that its directive for people to come out will be adhered to.

Anambra cannot be held hostage by criminal groups who do not mean well for the state. Anambra, like other states in the South East Zone, constitutes a major commercial hub in the country and one can imagine the amount of money lost every Monday as a result of the forced lockdown.

It is therefore time that the government of the state mapped out concrete measures to get the citizenry to comply with government’s directive before the state’s economy collapses.