Imo State governor Hope Uzodimma says fear of insecurity is behind compliance with sit-at-home orders in most Southeast states.
The order was instituted by the Indigenous People of Biafra to press the release of its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, who is being kept in the detention of the Department of State Services in Abuja over alleged running a proscribed group, jumping bail and treason.
Uzodimma said the order, which is mostly observed on Mondays, was being obeyed for safety purposes. He said this after a meeting with President Tinubu at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to him, IPOB has no authority to declare such order. In his words, “The situation in the southeast is not as simple as some people think. There’s no government directive for the sit-at-home procedure to either the local government directive or any state or zone.
“But the situation is that because of the indiscriminate killing of people and high level of insecurity, our people are so afraid to come out, not only because there’s any sit-at-home.
“It is perception management that we’re trying to do. So, there is too much fear in the people. Otherwise, how can non-state actors give sit-at-home order and will be obeyed?
“People are scared. People are afraid because of what they’ve seen in the past. And nobody wants to die. Neither me nor anybody.
“So, that is why the federal government comes in to step up very high-security measures to manage the situation. The sense of security will come back to the citizenry and they will be able to go about their businesses.”
On the mission of his visit to Villa, he said, “My visit has to do with the security situation in the country. If you recall a few days ago, we had a meeting of the leadership of southeast, political and non-political leaders in conjunction with the leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo, and among the resolutions from that meeting was to visit Mr. President to support and intervene in our resolve in addressing the issue insecurities.
“The southeastern part of the country, of course, you are aware, has been bedeviled with this high level of security ranging from banditry, kidnapping activities of unknown gunmen.
“To the extent that most of the states, five states in the southeastern part of the country a lot of resources have been expended, community efforts have been invested, yet the problems seem not to be abetting.
“So, the leadership in the zone met and agreed that working with the forum of governors from the southeast, we come to Mr. President to formally request his intervention and additional support from the Federal Government to ensure that there is peace in the southeastern part of the country.
“The people of the southeast believe in the unity of the country. And that’s an integral part of the Nigerian project also needs serious attention in terms of provision of security for our people to go about their businesses.
“But under the current administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu which is barely 60 days old, we’re also coming to renew the request and also draw his attention to some peculiarities in the southeast that will require federal government attention to resolve.”