Sit-At-Home: Enugu Seals 106 Shops, Two Banks

No fewer than 106 shops and two banks in Enugu state have been sealed by the State government.The shops and banks were shut down for allegedly observing Monday’s sit-at-home order imposed by a factional leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Simon Ekpa.The governor said all the sealed businesses would remain sealed for one week, after which his administration would consider either reopening them on certain conditions or selling them off.The governor, in a statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Chidiebere Onyia, said 106 shops and two banks were sealed on Monday by officials of the Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority.Onyia, who led the exercise on Monday, said the action was in line with the governor’s warning, adding that Mbah’s intention was not to punish businesses but to encourage and inculcate the spirit of ‘no sit-at-home’ in traders.The SSG said, “In previous announcements to the good people and residents of Enugu State, the government had directed business and shop owners to open for normal businesses on Monday and every work day, or have the defaulting business premises and shops sealed.“That was exactly what the government did on Monday, July 24, 2023, to enforce its earlier directives.“All businesses that were sealed shall remain sealed for one week, at the end of which they shall provide their current tax clearance certificates and all other relevant revenue documents to enable the state government to review and consider their formal letters for re-opening.“Again, all considerations start from Friday, July 28, 2023, at 2pm at the Enugu State Capital Development Authority headquarters.”Onyia said the sealing of the businesses was not punitive but ownership culture, “where all of us come together to fight the menace of the illegal sit-at-home in the state.“We are taking it up not because Mbah is in the business of stopping economic growth but to fight those that think they can intimidate us.”He added that a task force created by the state government would be in the markets next Monday to continue to monitor the situation.“We saw shops that were not open and we sealed them.“That is why ECTDA is here and the owners should go through a process to get them reopened,” he said.The PUNCH reports that the Enugu State governor had on June 5 banned Monday sit-at-home in the state, saying it was hurting the economy.