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Your action is Illegal, CLO tells Governor Mbah Ask Him To Unseal People's shops

Your action is Illegal, CLO tells Governor Mbah Ask Him To Unseal People's shops The Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), has condemned...

Your action is Illegal, CLO tells Governor Mbah Ask Him To Unseal People's shops

The Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), has condemned the violence visited on Enugu State protesting traders following the government sealing of their businesses for not opening their shops on Monday, a development that led to the killing of two persons by security agencies.


The civic organisation in a statement in reaction to the killing of protesters signed by its Enugu State Chapter Chairman, Zulu Ofoelue, described it as "worrisome and wrongful activities", while accusing the government of highhandedness against the citizens by sealing off their businesses and in turn killing for protesting.


The group noted that "on Monday, July 24, 2023, officials of the state and security operatives purportedly marched around the state capital sealing-up business premises and shops that did not open for business. The excuse said to be given for the sealing was the governor’s earlier directive for the resumption of economic activities on Mondays despite the sit-at-home order issued by some elements claiming to be IPOB leaders."


It also accused the police of shooting and killing protesters at Ogbete market, who came out to speak against the activities of the government.


“Two persons have been confirmed dead, and many others sustained various degrees of injuries from gunshots," CLO stated.


While they commended the government's efforts to end the sit-at-home menace, however, it described the sealing of shops as completely illegal and unconstitutional and called for accountability on those gruesomely killed by the police.


The statement partly read: “While CLO supports reasonable measures including the provision of adequate security to put an end to the senseless enforcement of sit-at-home orders by some elements in the southeast, we condemn in its entirety, the action of the state government in sealing private shops and businesses premises willfully closed by their owners.


“The action is completely illegal and traders must be allowed to express their rights to trade or stay closed. Enugu State government must not pretend not to realise that most of the people staying at home on Mondays do so out of fear of attack.


“Government must reassure residents of their safety and security rather than become an added threat to their lives and livelihood. Sadly, the action of the Enugu State government led traders to stage a protest which eventually led to the extrajudicial killing of their colleagues. Enugu State government should henceforth respect the rule of law.



“CLO feels pained that the Nigeria police, even after the end of SARS protests, have continued to use uncivilized, unprofessional, and draconic approaches to handling civil protests. CLO expects the Nigerian police to adhere to a professional code of engagement in their exercise. In the first place, the effect of the Monday sit-at-home is a sign of the failure of the Nigerian police. If the police had been as active in securing lives on Mondays as they did in quelling peaceful protests, these incidences would have been avoided. Moreso, if the police could protect people who protested on Monday 24th July in support of the government ban on sit-at-home, what stopped the same police force from protecting those who protested against the government policy of sealing their shops?



“Finally, CLO calls on the government of Enugu State to immediately unseal all business premises in the interest of justice. Government should avoid further harassment of traders, business people, and other residents in respect of the sit-at-home order. Government should rather enhance security in the state to assure residents of their safety and enable them to return to their businesses. We call on the Enugu State Commissioner of Police to ensure an immediate and thorough investigation into the killing of unarmed protesters and ensure that those found culpable are brought to book. Government must protect the citizens, not destroy them."

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