Deputy President of the Senate, Chief Ike Ekweremadu and Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. David Umahi, have appealed to Biafra agitators calling for a sit-at-home compliance on Tuesday to allow people to go about their normal business.
Ekweremadu and Umahi made the appeal during an Interdenominational church service organised by the Ebonyi State Government to mark this year’s Democracy Day in Abakaliki.
They noted that a bad approach to a genuine struggle was not good, and encouraged the Igbo’s to work in unity in order to achieve their aim irrespective of how long it takes.
Ekweremadu said, “On the issue of IPOB and stay at home order, I just have one advice. You cannot have two governments in a state. If anybody says you should stay at home, if you are a trader you can choose to stay at home or go out. But if you are a civil or public servant, you are under obligation to go to work.
“I addressed the World Igbo Congress in Enugu and I told them that we all condemn the marginalisation of our people. We can never support it and we will continue to fight against it wherever we find ourselves. It is our life but I advise that no one or group should engage in any arm struggle no matter the level of provocation. The idea of trying to force people to do your will, I don’t think it’s right.
“Those who want to stay at home should please stay at home but those who want to work should be allowed to go out. I believe that if we have a struggle which I believe we have, it may take us a long time to get there but surely, no matter how long the darkness is, the day will eventually break” Ekweremadu said.
Meanwhile, Ekweremadu commended Umahi for his infrastructure development and the mature way he has piloted the affairs of Ebonyi State, adding that the state has changed for good.
In his remarks, Governor Umahi said he had directed that markets should be opened on Tuesday and that residents should feel free to go about their lawful businesses just as he condemned the idea of asking people to stay at home and advised IPOB members to embrace dialogue rather than pursuing their genuine struggle the wrong way.
Umahi maintained that the leaders of South-East were handling the concerns of IPOB, assuring that efforts to solve the problem would soon materialise.
“Let me say it; I have all the lists of their agitations and most of what they are saying are correct but the way they are saying it may not be correct. I met with the market people and I said our market will remain open on 30th of May.
“The governors of South-East are not noise makers behind the scene, we are tackling our problem with National Assembly members and our other leaders and I’m very sure that the modest effort we are making is fast yielding result. We believe that we can win this war not through violence but through persuasion and dialogue and understanding,” the governor explained.
The governor appreciated the State Executive Members, the legislators and the Judiciary for their commitment to service delivery.
In his sermon, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Religion and Welfare Matters and the Chairman Christian Association of Nigeria, Ebonyi State Chapter, Very Rev. Fr. Abraham Nwali, eulogised the governor for his achievements within two years in office.
Dignitaries who attended the church service include former Governor of the state, Senator Sam Egwu; Senator Obinna Ogba; Chief Judge, Aloy Nwankwo and Heads of security agencies in the state.