Governor David Umahi has asked residents of Ebonyi state to ignore the sit-at-home order of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and defend themselves if attacked.
Seccessionist group, IPOB had declared a sit-at-home in the south-east region from May 29 to 31.
Umahi who warned that traders who comply with the sit-at-home order on Monday May 31 will forfeit their shops, charged those who have no weapon to get cutlasses for self-defence.
The Governor Umahi in a state-wide broadcast on Saturday May 29 to mark the sixth anniversary of his administration, also directed that all markets, shops, and offices should open for business on Monday.
The statement read;
“There should be free movement of people in the state on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and other days of the year.
“People should go to church on Sunday to pray for the nation’s fallen security agents, civilians and peace and unity of the state and country.
“I challenge the youths, local government area chairman, security agents, Ebebeagu security outfit, among others, to ensure that no one is molested in the state.
“Anyone who has nothing to protect himself should do so with cutlass, which should be for protection and not for attack.”
All forms of procession had been banned in the state except those by youths organised by council chairmen.
The statement added;
“I have been notified about such processions and they are being used to profile our people for empowerment.
“I charge the Ebubeagu security outfit, which is backed by the state laws, to ensure that the people are protected.
“There will be movement in other parts of the country, if there is none in the South-East so people should therefore ignore such order.
“Ebonyi people are grateful to President Muhammadu Buhari for all his assistance and if people do not see his goodness, he has been good to us,”
Insisting that the state will not go into “second slavery under any guise”, Umahi also urged parents and relevant stakeholders to advise youths to toe the path of peaceful co-existence and not depend on the illusionary influences of hard drugs and fetish powers.