Activist Advocates Regional Approach To Ending Sit-At-Home, Faults Using Force

By Adadareporters

Mr Larry Oguego, national coordinator, Human Rights Volunteer Corps of Nigeria (HRVC), Thursday, said the approach adopted by the Enugu State government towards ending sit-at-home is faulty. He therefore urged the government to earn the trust of the people first.
Recall that Gov Peter Mbah engaged stakeholders in the state, where he formally banned Monday sit-at-home in the state. The state government, in a statement, further threatened to sanction business owners and civil servants who obey the order.

Sit-at-home was instituted by the Indigenous People of Biafra to demand the release of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, who is being detained at the DSS custody despite having been acquitted and discharged by the Court of Appeal.
Oguego spoke during the ‘Political Voices’ programme of Enugu-based DreamFM. He said people have the right to sit at home as well as seek self-determination. He however advocated regional solutions to the matter.

Quoting him, “One of the things the government requires first is the confidence of the people. As long as people are not assured of their safety, they will continue to sit at home. But we should understand that we operate in a democratic society because people have the right to sit at home. The governor can’t sanction anyone for closing his shop because he has a right to sit at home.

“People have gotten used to sitting at home, and they feel that the government has no capacity to protect them. Engaging the stakeholders is not enough. The governor should engage influencers. Some traditional rulers are not popular because of the way they emerged. So nobody listens to them. Let the government first look at the real cause of the sit-at-home. There is a provision for self-determination in the African Charter. It is also there in the UN Convention.”

He however expressed sadness over the impacts of the order in South East. According to him, “I am sad that Ndigbo are drinking poison and expect our enemies to die. We should strengthen ourselves to be able to negotiate with the enemies. We are demonstrating to the world that the Igbo spirit is gone. The approach is wrong. We should go beyond issuing orders or deploying military and police to solve this problem.

“We should review how we got here. Why holding someone who the court has released? The sooner our South-east leaders come together and find solutions to this, the better for us. Sit-at-home is an Igbo phenomena and not a state matter. Gov Soludo of Anambra State tried to stop it, and rested. It requires a regional approach.”

He also called for improved welfare of security personnel to motivate them. He said, “Providing them vehicles has been the practice, but where has it taken us to? How are they being motivated? What about their barracks? What about their pay packages?”

Adadainfo is an online newspaper reporting Nigerian news. Email: Phone: 08071790941

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