Residents of Enugu chose to ignore the directive issued by Governor Mbah last week, which mandated all offices, both public and private, to remain open for business on Monday. The governor had warned of sanctions against individuals and entities that failed to comply. Despite the governor’s assurance of adequate security measures and the readiness of the Enugu State Police Command to prevent any security breaches, Simon Ekpa, the leader of the autopilot arm of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) based in Finland, responded with a threat, asserting that no Nigerian government operates in Biafra land and insisting on the continuation of the Monday sit-at-home in the Igbo-speaking states of the South East and South-South regions. The conflicting orders, threats, and counter-threats seemed to overwhelm the residents, prompting them to avoid potential morning casualties.
By 8 am, our correspondent observed a significant level of compliance as usually bustling streets such as Nike Lake Road, Trans-Ekulu, Chime Avenue, and Abakpa were deserted. The Abakpa Timber Market remained closed, and schools did not open their gates.
A resident named Mr. Mike Ogbu expressed his concern over the intimidating nature of the threats and counter-threats from both the state government and Simon Ekpa. He cited the example of Anambra, where the forceful approach taken by Governor Soludo resulted in several deaths. Ogbu questioned how civil servants could commute to work without buses on the roads. He suggested that the new governor should address the issue of mitigating the effects of the fuel price increase instead of engaging in confrontation with the Biafra people, who had caused disruptions in Anambra and Imo states. Ogbu believed that people chose to stay at home to avoid risking their lives, even if it meant risking their jobs.