Laz Ude Eze, a public health specialist and medical doctor, has criticised Governor Peter Mbah for forcefully opening the shops of some traders in Enugu state.
Governor Mbah’s actions sparked outrage in Enugu, prompting the aggrieved traders to protest on major roads in the state.
The governor had earlier threatened the traders not to obey the sit-at-home order by Simon Ekpa, a Finland-based terrorist, giving orders to criminals in the southeast region.
Ekpa had taken advantage of the detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, to hijack the group and form a criminal arm.
“I had commended some of Governor Peter Mba’s bold steps towards ensuring businesses are open, especially on Mondays.
“However, I find the stick approach he’s using against traders inappropriate. The government forcing people to open shops is as guilty as those who forced them to sit at home.
“Individual rights and freedom of ndi Enugu must be respected. There’s a near consensus that the sit-at-home is unacceptable. However, some people observe it out of fear.
“Government should take steps that convince citizens of their safety and allow for voluntary compliance.”
Governor Mba had earlier used the services of social media influencers to quell the sit-at-home order but to no avail.
Economic experts say insecurity and sit-at-home protests in the South-East have led to massive financial losses estimated at almost N4 trillion in two years.
The South-East, which used to be one of Nigeria’s relatively peaceful zones, has witnessed rising violence in recent years.