ENUGU — The Igbo people are an ethnic group in Nigeria with people residing all over the world. In fact, all over the 774 local Government areas in Nigeria, these resilient and industrious men and women set up businesses living harmoniously with the locals.
However, they are predominant in South East geographical zone of the nation which is their fatherland; Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo state.
In less than 3 months, the Monday sit-at-home order in the entire South East will be a year; a year of economic hardship, academic disturbances, destruction of properties, and lives in the name of enforcing the order.
Out of fear for their lives, these entrepreneurially inclined persons are compelled to comply with the order shunning Shakespeare’s assertion on valiancy, cowardice, and fear.
Businessmen and women, civil servants, students, etc. are all compelled by fear of the unknown gunmen to sit at home sometimes up to 3days consecutively as was the case in 3rd week of the month of May 2022 when the incarcerated leader of the Indigenous People Of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu appeared in court over his case with the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The situation is no longer favorable hence they devised a strategy to cope with the bitter situation.
An interview of school teachers reveals that lesson notes and assignments for any school day that falls on a sit-at-home day is sent via WhatsApp platform opened to parents of their students.
This strategy became expedient when going to school on Saturdays became burdensome to all concerned; the students, teachers and the school proprietor/proprietress, drivers, etc.
For civil servants, it is total compliance as the secretariats are shut down completely; officers may work at home on those days when the need arises.
But for persons in business, it is a different ball game; most street shops and malls open to business by 3pm but the major markets are under lock and key.
Once it is 3pm, the city which in the morning looked like a ghost city becomes active once more; private vehicles and commercial transporters hit the road as persons are seen going for their business.
But for interstate transporters according to Mr. Chris, driver of a popular known commercial transporter Peace Mass Transit, all branded transporters comply completely with the order except private-owned transporters who stand along the roads to pick up desperate passengers.
No religious activities are fixed for Mondays not just because of the order but because prior to the order, religious activities for the week in most churches start on Tuesday.
There is no gainsaying the fact that the order has a negative effect on our livelihood but we in the South East have devised diverse coping strategies so as to stay afloat knowing that tough times don’t last but tough people do.