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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Closing shops further complicates business situation in south east — Frank Nweke

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Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Enugu in the March 18 poll, Frank Nweke Jnr, has advised that the Enugu State Government must be patient with its people while trying to end the Monday sit-at-home.

Nweke stated this in a release on Monday after the government sealed some shops and business centres that were closed despite its warnings to open for business on Mondays.

Although the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has washed its hands off the Monday sit-at-home, some non-state actors still force south-east residents to stay at home on Mondays.

Nweke, in his statement, advised that the government must earn the trust of the citizens if it intends to end the sit-at-home problem.

He said, “Unravelling the ‘Monday sit-at-home’ in Enugu is a classic leadership quagmire. It mimics the dilemma of the tsetse fly perched on the scrotum. Swatting the fly without due care may crush the testicles. Doing nothing does not preserve the twin balls either. Yet something must be done.”

Nweke added, “The sit-at-home order by renegades is destructive. It undermines the rights of citizens to free movement and pursuit of their social and economic endeavours. No benefit can come out of this obnoxious imposition. Government is right in working to end it.

“Sealing businesses, however, for not opening to business further compels the shop owners to ‘sit at home’. Just what you don’t want.

“Our people sit at home on Mondays out of fear for dear life. Businesses are set up for profit. No benefit, therefore, accrues in the owners shutting their businesses. Each day that owners sit at home undermines their business and profit and survival. However, it is only someone who is alive that can open a business to make a profit. There are genuine reasons to be fearful.

“The ongoing efforts by the government are commendable. In addition to mobilising the security services, the government must work to earn the trust of citizens. Trust cannot be earned by force. It cannot be decreed. Overturning these two years of fear will require some level of patience.

“Government should not be baited by non-state actors into coercive actions that may be counter-productive.

“I urge empathy, constructive engagement and demonstrable efforts to protect citizens in a way that they can see and feel, in order to progressively restore normalcy to the state.”

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