Last Saturday, in a zeal to end every Monday sit-at-home, Governor Chukwuma Soludo called for all Anambra stakeholders’ peace meeting with security chiefs, traditional rulers and religious leaders, in Awka to discuss the insecurity and the sit-at-home that are crippling socio-economic activities in the state.
He said, “I enjoin you to pause and join in fellowship as we seek the face of God.It is expected that the conclusion of the prayer session shall mark the end of Sit At Home in Anambra State.”
Sit-at-home was declared by the IPOB in protest of the arrest and detention of their leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu by the federal government. The sit-at-home which began last August, has been ongoing though without any tangible results. After all, the federal government is still holding Kanu captive.
While the IPOB issued press releases saying that the sit-at-home no longer exists with them, their foot soldiers have continued to enforce the order while life and property are destroyed. It is also obvious that their order was hijacked by criminally minded individuals that began to use the opportunity to extort people using fear and terror.
The streets of Anambra state and the South-east region are watered with the blood of the fallen brothers – innocent people, who desire to go about their normal daily activities. The fear and terror exerted by these unknown people parading as liberation officers have left the streets desolate. People no longer have faith in their security and as these continued, the hoodlums took over the streets and held the state and the region hostage.
Last Monday, in a bid to end the sit-at-home by fiat, the Soludo administration asked workers to resume work immediately or face sanction. That order was not heeded adequately.
To get peoples’ collective resolve and effort to end the sit-at-home, Soludo called an all stakeholders meeting where it was agreed that the sit-at-home strategy does not work for the people. To reclaim the streets, all hands have to be on deck and take responsibility to ensure peace and safety.
In the meeting, it was resolved that by 11am today, prayer sessions will be held across the state to signal the end of the ill-advised sit-at-home that has sabotaged and laid siege on the people of the state and Igbo people in general.
While the prayer session is very important to seek the face of the Almighty, the Soludo administration should also put in place security measures that will run out these hoodlums operating from the bushes.
They are warned and appealed to drop their arms and embrace a better life, but, how will the government ensure the safety of all the people who would troop out today to honour the prayer session?
The burning down of the Nnewi South LGA headquarters is a sign of undeterred and unwillingness of the gunmen to lay down their arms. Should they set out today to inflict more pains on the people, how would the people react to further summoning by the governor?
The people want to resist the continued occupation of streets by these hoodlums and get back to their normal Monday activities but, the streets should be cleared first to guarantee the safety of the people as they get courage to resist.
The governor should be careful not to show all his cards and become bogged down in a battle between his administration and the hoodlums. What happened to being unpredictable and an element of surprise?
When the Soludo administration gets ready to clear the streets and with the enormous intelligence reports at their disposal; they should sweep through these camps in a well-coordinated operation. The capturing and parading of the various leaders of the camps will send a very strong message.
The governor should not show weakness which can be decoded from his appeals. Weakness in the fight with these hoodlums will not bode well for his administration.