John Alechenu and Ogbonna Casmir
The Department of State Services has warned those behind the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra to have a rethink or be prepared to face the consequences of their action.
According to the service, it is prepared to maintain adequate security across Nigeria, saying it will not allow any person or group to obstruct the freedom of law-abiding citizens.
Spokesperson for the DSS, Peter Afunnaya, said this in a telephone interview with SUNDAY PUNCH, in Abuja, on Friday.
He was reacting to the May 30 sit-at-home order given by the IPOB in the South-East.
Afunnaya said, “The service will not condone people taking the law into their hands and obstructing the freedom of others. The constitution is clear on the fundamental human rights of people and no person should deliberately infringe on the rights of anyone outside the laws of the land.
“The service in the line of its mandate will ensure that adequate security is maintained in all parts of the country and people who take the law into the hands or cause the breakdown of law and order should be ready to face the consequences.”
He explained that for the avoidance of doubt, the warning applied to “all subversive elements” operating under any guise.
Meanwhile, the sit-at-home order by IPOB has continued to generate mixed reactions from some residents of Enugu State.
At Coal Camp motor spare parts market, the traders said though the market would open as directed by the state government, they would not be available for business.
A Toyota spare parts dealer, Monday Ngene, told SUNDAY PUNCH that he would obey the directive, though not as a member of the group but because of the reasons for it.
He said, “Our governors and the so-called leaders have failed to show the people leadership and direction. Therefore, since IPOB and other pro-Biafran movements have shown leadership, it is important to listen to them.
At Ogbete main market, another trader, who gave her name as Onyinye Ogbuabor, said she would go to the market, expressing the fear that she might not make good sales.
She said in the past when such directive was given, the market was usually open but customers and many traders wouldn’t come.
Mr Godwin Eze stated that he would go to work that day and his children would go to school.
“But you see, there is an issue here. Government doesn’t control transportation. In Enugu, public transport system is no longer functional. Most of the owners of the town service buses have a soft spot for the Biafran movement,” Eze added.
He believed that the success and failure of the order would largely depend on the availability of transport.
Also, the state Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria and the National Union of Road Transport Workers promised that their members would be available to transport commuters to their various destinations.
The chairman of the state RTEAN, Chidebere Aniagu, told SUNDAY PUNCH that his members would go to work that day like any other day.
He said, “We have notified our members to be on their routes to service the people.”
His counterpart in the NURTW, Matthew Asogwa, was said to have directed his members to work on May 30.
In a related development, the police in the state advised parents and guardians to prevent their children and wards from being used by any person or group to threaten the peace and safety in the state.
A statement by the Police Public Relations Officer, Ebere Amaraizu, noted that the command would not fold its arms while anyone would foment trouble in the state.
“Those fanning the embers of any unlawful act of sit-at-home order on May 30, 2019 on law-abiding members of the public under any guise with a view to truncating the existing peace in the state will be fished out and be made to face the consequence of their act in line with the law,” he added.
Amaraizu said the state Commissioner of Police, Sulaiman Balarabe, urged all to be law abiding and go about their lawful business in the state before, during and after May 30 without fear of any intimidation or molestation from anyone. (Punch)
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