Sit-at-home orders enforced by the pro-Biafra group, IPOB, have had more negative economic impacts on Ebonyi State than other states in the South-east region, a report says.
Over 83 per cent of interviewed respondents in the state said they were economically affected by the directives that repeatedly halt economic activities in the region most Mondays, the report by SB Morgen said.
The impact is also severely felt in Enugu, Anambra and Imo states in that order. Abia State has seen the least disruptions, residents said.
“Of the five states in the South-east, the sit-at-home order was most effective in Ebonyi State with 98.07 per cent of the respondents affirming that it was observed,” said the report by the Lagos-based research firm, SB Morgen.
Ebonyi, which has large salt deposits, is a leading producer of rice, yam, potatoes and cassava in the country. Complying with frequent no-work orders handed out by the Nnamdi Kanu-led Indigenous People of Biafra means production in these factories is stalled.
The group wants an independent Biafra nation and has been branded a terrorist group by the Nigerian government. Mr Kanu has been held by the government in detention since June when he was arrested in Kenya.
His supporters routinely direct residents of the region to stay at home on Mondays as a sign of protest. The campaign has affected economic and educational activities.
While the group is popular in the region, most residents are believed to comply with its disruptive orders for fear of being attacked or victimised by an organisation that has been linked to several acts of violence especially in recent months. There have been reports of defaulters being attacked.
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“Not surprisingly, Ebonyi State was most affected economically by the protest with as many as 84 per cent of the respondents admitting so, followed by 74.42 per cent of respondents in Enugu State. Anambra and Imo were tied at 55 per cent of respondents’ economic activities being affected by the protest, while Abia State had the least disruption to economic activity with only 42 per cent of respondents affected by the protest,” SB Morgen said.
In terms of occupations, the worst affected are self-employed persons followed by transporters and then blue-collar formal sector workers.