Lawyers tell Mbah: Don’t punish civil servants over IPOB’s sit-at-home order

Peter Mbah

Dr Peter Mbah


Southeastern lawyers have warned Governor Peter Mbah against carrying out his threat to deal with civil servants who fail to report to duty on any Monday as a result of the weekly Sit-at-home order imposed by the banned Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Mbah had last week vowed to deal fully with government employees who do not go to work on any Monday starting today, arguing that the order by the non-state actors is having a deleterious effect on the economy and social life of Enugu State. But the threat did not make most civil servants go to work this morning for fear of violent attacks by IPOB members.

In a statement signed in Enugu today by the president of the Oriental Lawyers for Justice, (OLJ), Mr John Bosco Aninwede, and the secretary, Mrs Ifeoma Ejike,  the lawyers accused Mbah of attempting to hide under the cover of fighting the proscribed group to retrench much of the state’s workforce and also take out on the workers his frustration of a hostile public attitude to his administration which the group described as illegitimate.

“Mbah can’t be allowed to get away with blue murder”, thundered the civil society organisation.

“How does he expect workers to go to work on a day people are routinely killed in Enugu and other Southeastern states in the most callous manner by IPOB members and, as a result, commercial cyclists and vehicles rarely come out till much later in the day?”

The lawyers said that not up to 10% of the Enugu State’s workers, including the senior staff, have their own vehicles.

“How can they come to work? On foot and do several kilomtres under the rain and sun?”

Continued the lawyers: “We are convinced that Mbah, a well-known capitalist roader, is looking for ways to cut down the state’s workforce drastically, and so has resorted to the use of the bogey of fighting insecurity to carry out his agenda in the belief that the workforce is bloated”.

The group described as unfair Mbah’s attempt to link the failure of his fight against IPOB to civil servants who do no go to work every Monday.

“Much as we have no sympathy for IPOB which has been spreading its message of hate with terror like the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), it must be admitted that Mbah has been fighting the battle wrongly”, declared the lawyers.

“It is unrealistic to expect workers to come to work in their numbers when there are no policemen or soldiers or members of the National Security and Civil Defence Corps or the secret State Service to protect them.

“Worse is that the governor has no plans of providing buses for civil servants as a lot of state governments have done to cushion the effects of the acute economic crisis in the country”.

The organisation threatened to cut down to size the “over-bloated ego of the state administration if it tampers with the means of livelihood of even one innocent civil servant in these very difficult times because they are not the cause of the failure of Mbah’s ill-advised strategy of fighting insecurity.

 “Nor are they the cause of the illegitimacy which defines his regime.

 “Mbah is a high public office usurper through and through, and the Enugu people can’t wait to see him out of Government House”.