Markets, banks, shopping malls open in Enugu as youths march against sit-at-home exercise

Enugu as youths march against sit-at-home exercise

A number of youths took to the streets of Enugu State on Monday in support of efforts to end sit-at-home, saying the South-East region’s economy was being crippled.

This is also as Enugu State capital witnessed some turnout with popular shopping malls and markets as well as banks opening to customers.

Speaking to newsmen, one of the youths, Chukwuma Okpalaezeukwu, who led others in the march against sit-a-at-home, said the youths were “demonstrating the desire, resolve and endorsement of an end to sit-at-home in the South-East.”

“We are Igbo youths and stakeholders that gathered from the five states of the South East to declare and endorse the end to sit-at-home.

“We acknowledge the fact that sit-at-home commenced because of our brother, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s detention. It gained so much support in solidarity with Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in the beginning. But as it is now, it is affecting us. Our economy is shrinking and its adverse effects are just too much.

“Miscreants and criminals are causing so much mayhem in our society in the name of sit-at-home and we say no to all forms of criminalities in the South East. Thus, we are convinced that it is now time to end it, just as Kanu himself has said,” he added.

The South-East Coordinator of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, Chidi Nzekwe, regretted that institutions in the South-East didn’t operate on Mondays. “Now we are talking about another 14 days of sitting at home. We want to encourage our youths and students to come out. Let us stand together to end this sit-at-home.”

On his part, the youths leader, Ohanaaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Enugu State chapter, Nnamdi Odo, stressed that the difference between the Monday march and others before it was the coming together of youth representatives and stakeholders from the five South East states to speak with one voice against sit-at-home.

“Today, we are out to show solidarity with Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s stand and the South East governments that are trying to end sit-at-home. We are concerned that our economy is being crippled and we the youths are now taking this message very seriously because if we don’t kill sit-at-home, sit-at-home will kill us. God forbid.”

Meanwhile, monitoring around Enugu town showed a significant compliance with the state government’s ban on sit-at-home. At SPAR shopping mall, the main mall and other shops were open with appreciable number of residents doing their shopping.

A shopper and owner of a plumbing firm, Kingsley Onah, said he was doubtful the two-week sit-at-home would work, as people were already tired and hungry.

“Besides, there is so much security out there. From my house to this place, I saw so many security men. It’s just that people are just afraid based on the things that happened before. But now, if you want to come out, you can come out and do what you want to do in town. The state is secure now. I don’t think the two-week sit-at-home will work,” he told newsmen.

Also at SPAR shopping mall, Uchechukwu Orji, an entertainer expressed satisfaction with the level of security in the state and encouraged residents to come out.

“I came here to shop for my event this evening. Enugu is safe. I’m very impressed. I see people go about their normal businesses. People should not be scared by all this propaganda. Security agencies are everywhere to secure you and your businesses. For now, I am impressed. The town is peaceful,” he said.

Abakpa Market was a beehive of activities. A driver, Okpara Emmanuel, said business was picking up on Mondays.

A Hairdresser at Mkpokiti, New Layout, Amaka Samuel, recalled what hairdressers suffered before the ban on sit-at-home.


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