Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has urged the people of the state to defy the sit-at-home order of the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) on Monday.
The Nnamdi Kanu led separatist movement declared May 31 as sit-at-home to commemorate the deaths of millions of Igbos who fought on the side of the defunct Biafra Republic and died during the Nigerian civil war.
But in a state-wide broadcast on Saturday, Umahi urged traders at the international market not to comply with the directive from the secessionist group or have their business premises forfeited.
While charging security agencies to ensure no one in the state is molested, the governor urged residents to use cutlass to defend themselves if need be.
“There should be free movement of people in the state on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and other days of the year,” Umahi said. “People should go to church on Sunday to pray for the nation’s fallen security agents, civilians and peace and unity of the state and country.
“I challenge the youths, local government area chairmen, security agents, Ebebeagu security outfit, among others, to ensure that no one is molested in the state.
“Anyone who has nothing to protect himself should do so with cutlass, which should be for protection and not for attack,” he charged.
Similarly, the state Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Aliyu, also advised residents to disregard the IPOB directive.
“The command warns anybody or group harbouring any sinister intentions to disrupt the relative peace and security enjoyed in the state to desist forthwith, as such attempt will be resisted,” the state police spokesperson, ASP Daniel Ndukwe, said in a statement.