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‘We Can’t Cope Anymore’: Enugu Residents Lament Sit-At-Home

Residents of Enugu, the capital of Enugu State have lamented the negative impact of the frequent sit-at-home order by non state actors in the South-East geo-political zone of Nigeria.

They made their feelings known in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday  in Enugu.

The residents, among whom are traders, artisans, and legal practitioners, said their various means of livelihood were being drastically affected.

A trader at Ogbete Market, Jude Uwazurike said that his business was gradually decreasing by the day as a result of frequent closure of the market.

He said: “I sell clothes (abada) at Ogbete Market and I can say without mincing words that I was doing well in my business before now.

“However, as I speak, I am just managing to survive because this issue of closing shop every Monday and sometimes they just order people to remain indoors for days is no longer a joke. “

He said that he used to travel to Aba, in Abia weekly to buy goods but lamented that he rarely traveled these days due to lack of sales.

“The truth is that after these lockdowns, people tend to be famished, tired and withdrawn for the rest of the days, ” he said.

Uwazurike appealed to the relevant authorities to do something by either releasing Mazi Nnamdi Kanu or in the alternative rejig the security apparatus in the region.

In the same vein, Mrs Nnena Okpo, a dealer in perishables at the Holy Ghost market said her business had almost collapsed due to sit-at-home.

Okpo said she was losing hope about the situation in the South East zone, unless something was urgently done to change the situation..

“It is no longer funny, the whole thing looked like a joke when it started in 2021, but today you can count a number of businesses that are still standing strong.

“I deal on perishables, apart from Monday sit-at-home order by IPOB, now someone stays in Finland and gave directive for seven days lockdown, not minding what people go through, ” she said.

She said it had been difficult to survive in the business because of the perishable nature of the business.

“I have to eat from the business and watch the rest perish. I see my goods, my money rotening and there is nothing to do, ” Okpo said.

A legal practitioner, who did not want his name in print, also said that the lockdown in Enugu State and the entire South East was taking a huge part on the legal profession.

According to him, many people thought that it was only businessmen and women that suffer the consequences of sit-at-home.

“The truth is that, we in the legal field, suffer it the more. Litigants also suffer as a result of the postponement of cases.

“It may interest you to know that each time there is disruption of activities in the public space, it affects the courts too, even when some cases require urgent attention, ” he said.

 An intra-state bus driver, Mr Emeka Agbo also decried the situation, describing the perennial sit-at-home order as dangerous.

“We know that we are fighting a cause but I think some people are really going too far by impoverishing the people with hunger, ” he said.

According to him, declaring seven days sit-at-home was inviting hunger into his family.

“I don’t have any other work doing than to drive from Obollo-Afor to Enugu and come back and the management pays me my little commission which I take to my wife and children.

“But denying me what to eat for seven days is nothing but wickedness,” Agbo said.

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