- Commercial banks who obeyed the sit-at-home order of the proscribed IPOB have been sealed in Owerri
- The action was carried out by officials of the Imo state government after the banks stayed away from their business premises on Monday, September 6
- The spokesman of the Imo state government confirmed that the action was carried out by officials of Owerri Capital Development Authority
Owerri - The Imo government has sealed several banks in the state for obeying the Monday, September 6 sit-at-home order issued by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) across the southeast.
The development caused hundreds of bank customers to be stranded and unable to carry out their respective transactions.
Imo government moves against banks for obeying outlawed group
The Guardian newspaper reports that officials of the state government sealed the affected banks with ribbons as early as 7:00 am on Tuesday, September 7.
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One of the customers, Ikechukwu Iwegbu said in reaction to the government's action:
“I can’t really say for sure but we are made to believe by these banks were sealed was because they failed to open Monday, because of the IPOB sit-at-home order.
“That was against the government’s directive that they should ignore the order and open for businesses.”
Imo government justifies closure of bank branches
Meanwhile, the state commissioner for information and strategy, Declan Emelumba, has given reasons for the government's action.
The commissioner told The Punch newspaper that the state government sealed the banks because they frustrated customers on Monday, September 6 by refusing to open for transactions.
Asked when the government would unseal the banks, Emelumba said it was left for the Owerri Capital Development Authority and the banks to determine.
Emelumba had earlier declared that the state government is set to receive President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, September 9 in Owerri.
The president is scheduled to pay a working visit to Imo to inaugurate some state-executed projects.
He said Buhari would also inaugurate Egbeada bye-pass and the new state executive council chambers at the Government House, among others.
On its part, All Progressives Congress (APC) group, South East Mandate, has appealed to President Buhari to facilitate the process of nominating a presidential candidate from trusted members of the party from the region ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The group also urged other political parties in Nigeria to cede its presidential ticket to the southeast in the spirit of justice, equity, and good conscience.
Convener of the group, Senator Julius Ucha, who briefed journalists after their recent meeting, identified lack of trust, latent fear, suspicion, and prejudices as some of the factors holding the southeast down in Nigeria’s political equation, saying it was poised to reverse the trend.