Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State has invited heads of various communities, groups and institutions to a town hall meeting on Saturday.
The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Chidiebere Onyia, announced this in a statement on Thursday.
Mr Onyia, a professor, said the meeting was “pursuant to the cancellation of the sit-at-home order” by the state government which took effect on 5 June.
The SSG said the scheduled meeting was a follow-up to Mr Mbah’s earlier consultations with various groups about ending the sit-at-home in the state.
The meeting is to be held at Banquet Hall, Old Government Lodge, at 10:30 a.m., according to the statement.
Those invited to the meeting include religious leaders, traditional rulers, leaders of civil society organisations, leaders of transport unions and heads of banks as well as other financial institutions, heads of security agencies, leaders of neighbourhood watch and forest guard groups, vice-chancellors, rectors, and provosts of tertiary institutions in the state, market union leaders, members of hotel owners union, state leaders of Association of Local Governments of Nigeria and the National Union of Local Government Employees.
Others were leaders of proprietors of private schools, representatives of the Nigeria Union of Teachers and principals of secondary schools, heads of radio, television and other media organisations, student leaders in tertiary institutions, leaders of non-indigene groups, leaders of motor parks, leaders of the association of Enugu town unions, chairpersons of Inter-Party Advisory council as well as Conference of Political Parties.
Mr Mbah had, last week, banned the continuation of the sit-at-home usually enforced by a faction of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
“Government will enforce this with all the powers at its disposal,” Mr Mbah had said.
The governor, on Saturday, subsequently asked all schools, markets, retail outlets, hospitals and transporters to stop obeying the Monday sit-at-home order in the state or face sanctions.
But PREMIUM TIMES reported that the civil action continued last Monday despite Mr Mbah’s pronouncement.
It was learnt that the governor called the meeting to convince the leaders to prevail on their people to stop obeying the sit-at-home order in the state on Mondays.
IPOB, in August 2021, introduced a sit-at-home order every Monday across the South-east to pressure the Nigerian government to release its detained leader, Nnamdi Kanu, who is standing trial for alleged terrorism at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The separatist group later suspended the order, in preference for it to be implemented only on days Mr Kanu appears in court.
But despite its suspension, residents of the five South-east states – Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo, Abia and Anambra — have been observing the Monday sit-at-home order, primarily out of fear.
IPOB has repeatedly disowned the Monday sit-at-home across the region, saying those who still enforce the order were criminals attempting to blackmail the separatists’ group.
A leader of Autopilot, a faction of the IPOB, Simon Ekpa, has been insisting on the continuation of the suspended sit-at-home order in the region.
IPOB is leading the agitation for an independent state of Biafra, which it wants to be carved out from the south-east and some parts of south-south Nigeria.
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