Governor Peter Mbah has sealed 106 shops and two banks in Enugu state for observing Monday’s sit-at-home order imposed by a factional leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB), Simon Ekpa.
The governor said all the sealed businesses would remain closed for a week, after which his administration would consider either reopening or selling them off on certain conditions.
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.
“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,” Onyia said.
“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.