Uncertainty over Christmas celebration amid IPOB sit-at-home, removal of fuel subsidies, general insecurity
For the Nwafor family in Onueke in the Ezza North Local Government in Ebonyi State, Christmas is not just a celebration, but a reunion for all family members. This year, family members are still wondering if they will be spending the holiday season in Onueke.
The Monday home rest order means business disruption and personal risk to the family, Ralph Nwafor told DAILY POST.
Across the southeast, the Sit-at-Home Order by the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) has become effective and almost to the point of being institutionalized. In the elections in Anambra state, sit-at-order and fear of violence kept many voters away from the poll. Only 10% of the total registered voters participated in the election.
Despite the IPOB directive that the home rest order remains canceled, the group admitted that some people, who allegedly work for the DSS, continue to enforce the order.
While in the aftermath of the Anambra elections, insecurity in the southeast declined, however, the recent gruesome murder of two police officers, allegedly by the Eastern Security Network (ESN), also heightened public concerns.
Commercial bus operators have not operated to and from the region in recent months, as reported cases of violent enforcement by suspected ESN men have deterred many from attempting to disobey the law. order.
Mr Nwafor, who is a businessman in Abuja, said concerns about the sit-at-home order are real to people coming from outside the region.
“Christmas is very important for the people of the South East. Most of us live outside of the five Southeastern states. Every year we look forward to Christmas. But, when you are unsure about your safety and the safety of your family, returning home is difficult.
“Even though membership in the sit-at-home order is not that strong in my village, but what about other states? Commercial drivers do not travel on Mondays. The impact on Christmas will be enormous.
Mr Chris Ezze, a native of the Ntezi local government of the Isielu local government, said the economic impact of the sit-at-home would be devastating for the inhabitants of the southeast if people ended up avoiding going at Christmas.
Mr Ezze, an official from Abuja, said this in an interview with DAILY POST. For him, for the Igbos, Christmas is not just a celebration or a celebration, but an integral part of life.
“I’m not an economist, but I know that every year people spend millions on Christmas. If they are afraid to come home, it would be lost. There are difficult security situations which have already made travel difficult; you have kidnappings, bad roads, impending fuel shortage and money shortage. If you now add the uncertainty of the sit-at-home, then it’s hard to see people coming home, ”Ezze said.
He added that “even though IPOB declared the order vacant, people are still not sure what the real situation is.”
Concern over FG’s action following police murder
It will be recalled that Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, declared that the government was looking for the perpetrators of the “barbaric murder of Inspector Emmanuel Akubo (AP No. 222336) and Inspector Rufai Adamu ( AP. No. 285009). .
The possible response of the federal government to these latest killings is also a source of apprehension among residents of the Southeast.
Abolition of fuel subsidies …
The federal government had announced that the petroleum subsidy could be removed in 2022. Travelers are also concerned about this ongoing removal.
Remember that in 2012, the Goodluck Jonathan government announced the elimination of subsidies on January 1, 2012.
This government action has left many travelers stranded in their communities as scarcity has caused transportation increases.
Mr Ezze said that even though the 2012 grant event happened over 9 years ago, people who remember it vividly are still worried about a possible removal of the grant in January or February. People could be stranded.
All of these factors, coupled with the new COVID-19 variant, the Omicron variant, and the possible federal response, are some of the factors that are darkening this year’s Christmas.
Recall that Governor Ben Ayade of Cross Rivers State announced the suspension of the annual Calabar carnival.
Mr Ayade cited the insecurity and the appearance of the Omicron variant for the suspension.
In addition, on Tuesday, the House of Representatives called on the federal government to put in place measures to curb the spread of the new variants.
Some of these measures could also affect travel or increase the cost of transport.