The Ebonyi Government on Monday, barred residents of the state from observing the sit-at-home order of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra slated for May 30.
Dr Kenneth Ugbala, the Senior Special Assistant on Internal Security, announced this in Abakaliki while briefing newsmen.
Ugbala said: “The issue of IPOB’s sit-at-home order came up on May 30, 2017, causing chaos in major cities of the South East zone of the country though we were lucky in Ebonyi.
“God assisted us coupled with the proactive steps taken by the government and security agencies as we maintain that IPOB activities have been proscribed by the south east states’ governors.”
The governor’s aide said that the government had directed that such order should not be observed in the state.
He said: “Individuals and groups are free to pursue their causes but through due processes and the Ebonyi government will earnestly protect the people`s lives and property.
“Every civil servant, trader, artisan among others is expected to carry out his legitimate activities on May 30 and security agencies have been directed to live up to their responsibilities.
“We are working hard in Ebonyi to mitigate the defects of our days in the old Anambra, Enugu and Abia and any unjustifiable stoppage of business activities would adversely affect our economy.”
He said that the directive also included any directive given by the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra.
He said: “Citizens should resist attempts by any group to make them sit-at-home and report such to government and security agencies instead of physical resistance.
“The government is not aware of any worker that belongs to IPOB and would conduct routine checks in ministries, agencies and parastatals to ensure adequate enforcement of its directive.
“The routine checks are normal government practices and any civil servant who violates this directive would be disciplined according to laid down rules.
“Traders and artisans who close shops on that day might not be connected with the IPOB directive because a visit to shops and markets presently, would show that not all shops are open.
“We would however determine those who chose not to open their shops to observe the sit-at-home order because we would not allow people to forcefully make others close their shops.”
Paulinus Atam, Chairman of the Motor Cycle Riders Association in the state thanked the SSA for the information, noting that the people had been adequately enlightened about the IPOB’s order.
Atam said: “We would ensure that our members do not comply with the sit-at-home order because we are law abiding citizens of the state and country.”
ASP Loveth Odaa, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, said that the command would ensure that the IPOB directive was not complied with in the state.
Odaa said: “IPOB remains a proscribed organisation and the command will not allow any illegal group to operate in the state on May 30 or any other day.
“We are warning IPOB members and other unlawful groups to steer clear of the state because any person who constitutes a breach to public peace would be thoroughly prosecuted to serve as a deterrent.”