Ahead of next week’s court appearances of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, traders in Enugu and its environs, Friday, expressed uncertainties over their businesses.
IPOB had instructed that the only days for the observance of sit-at-home in the southeast states would be when its leader would appear in court. However, its cancellation of Mondays as sit-at-home has not yielded results as most state and private establishments do not open for businesses.
The current apprehension is that Kanu is billed to appear in court on January 18th, 19th and 20th. And Monday is on 17th, meaning no work from Monday to Thursday in the affected states.
The chairman of Enugu State Bar Owners’ Association, Mr Hillary Onah, said, “We are dying. If there are no business activities in the region for four days, most of us may close for good.
“IPOB should understand that we are all Ndigbo. We show solidarity with this struggle. We had thought that sit-at-home had fizzled out with last year following pleas from all quarters. Our businesses will be adversely affected. We appeal to all stakeholders to intervene as much as they can, otherwise, the whole exercise will be counter-productive.”
Onah appealed for the judiciary to ensure justice in Kanu’s trial. In his words, “Justice should be seen to have prevailed in his trial. Let technicalities be avoided. His fundamental human rights should be preserved. That was why we expressed joy when political solutions were mooted as a way out. It would have been the best option to save the entire Igbo land from this ordeal.
“We expect the case to be heard to the satisfaction of all the parties. The judge should also not be biased so that no untoward reactions would be expressed.”
Other traders interviewed called on the IPOB to make a public statement cancelling the sit-at-home. One of them, James Eya, said, “Let IPOB announce that there won’t be sit-at-home next week. Kanu’s enjoys solidarity from many well-meaning Igbo.”
Our correspondent reported that gunshots and destruction of property were witnessed this Monday in some states of the southeast. The perpetrators were suspected by the executors of the Monday sit-at-home.