Thu. May 23rd, 2024

Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 election, has finally voiced his concerns in response to the sit-at-home directives that have paralysed business and social activities in the South East region.

Following calls for influential personalities from the South East to condemn the sit-at-home order, Obi took to his Twitter account on Thursday to issue a statement.

He declared that the ongoing situation in the South East constitutes a criminal activity that demands immediate action. He emphasised the importance of collaboration between security agencies and the people of the region to address this issue effectively.

Obi, the former Governor of Anambra State, also expressed his appreciation for the South East Governors’ renewed efforts in tackling insecurity within the state. However, he stressed the need for a more strategic and intelligence-driven approach to alleviate the suffering of innocent people.

Highlighting the growing concerns of escalating insecurity in the North Central zone, particularly in the Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State, as well as the criminal activities in the South East, Obi called for urgent attention to address these alarming issues.

He said: “The rising insecurity in the country leading to mindless bloodletting, particularly in the North Central zone of the country, and the continued disruption of business and social activities in the South East are all becoming very worrisome.

“The violent attacks in the North Central states of Benue and Plateau lately took a new twist with high records of kidnapping, arson, and loss of human lives. According to the 1st Quarter Mass Atrocities Casualty Tracking Report, over 1230 Nigerians were killed.

“79 of them security operatives, with over 600 abductions in the first quarter of this year alone. With what has been happening in the North Central and Zamfara state lately the figure as of today will be mind-boggling even far more than the deaths recorded in Russia/Ukraine ongoing carnage.

“It’s unacceptable that hundreds of innocent lives will continue to be wasted in Nigeria needlessly through communal clashes, bandits, and kidnapping activities.

“The situation in the Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau states has raised a lot of anxiety because of the number of lives and properties lost with very little resistance from security operatives.

“Also disturbing is the continued disruption of business and social activities in the South East region over the Sit-at-Home directive purported to be coming from the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, when the body has publicly denied issuing such directive.

“What is going on in the South East therefore is essentially a criminal activity that must be nipped in the bud, with all hands being on deck, security agencies, and the people alike.

“The South East Governors are to be commended for their renewed efforts at curbing this menace but there is a need to be more strategic and intelligence-driven in our approach to reducing the suffering of innocent people.”

He added: “Security agencies should take necessary and quick steps to arrest the ugly incidents because the country cannot just be spilling the blood of innocent citizens. We as a people through our various governments should up our value for human lives in the way and manner we respond to issues that touch lives.

“The implications of an insecure environment for development are far-reaching because no investor will consider going to an area where their resources will not be safe and secured.

“Therefore, I will like to urge critical stakeholders in these areas, traditional, Christian, and Muslim leaders to continue pushing for peace among their people in the way and manner they conduct themselves.

“The various governments at all levels should also take deliberate steps to address the issue of poverty and youth unemployment because the provision of stomach infrastructure is the surer way to tackle insecurity.

“Also, urgent steps should be taken consciously and intentionally to ameliorate the hardship of the people.”

The call for the recent sit-at-home protest in the South East region was announced on Tuesday by Simon Ekpa, the factional leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). Ekpa declared a two-week sit-at-home protest scheduled from July 31, 2023, to August 14, 2023.

In his announcement, Ekpa urged all market leaders to strictly adhere to the sit-at-home order and treat it with the utmost seriousness. He further called upon oil companies operating in the Biafran territory to halt oil exploration during these dates to avoid potential backlash from the Biafran people.

The order was revealed shortly after a closed-door meeting of South East political leaders held in Abuja, with the aim of addressing the security challenges in the region.

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