Lawyers advise Mbah against penalizing civil servants for adhering to IPOB’s sit-at-home directive.

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Lawyers caution Governor Peter Mbah against penalizing civil servants for their non-compliance with IPOB’s weekly Sit-at-home order in the Southeast region.

Governor Mbah recently threatened severe consequences for government employees who fail to report to work on Mondays, citing the negative impact of the non-state actors’ directive on Enugu State’s economy and social fabric. However, the fear of potential violent attacks from IPOB members prevented many civil servants from attending work today.

In a statement released in Enugu by the president of the Oriental Lawyers for Justice (OLJ), Mr. John Bosco Aninwede, and the secretary, Mrs. Ifeoma Ejike, the lawyers accused Governor Mbah of exploiting the fight against the banned group as a pretext to downsize the state’s workforce and vent his frustration towards workers amid widespread public dissatisfaction with his administration, which they deemed illegitimate.

The civil society organization vehemently declared, “Mbah cannot escape accountability for his actions.”

The lawyers questioned Governor Mbah’s expectation for workers to commute to their workplaces on a day when people in Enugu and other Southeastern states face routine and brutal killings by IPOB members, causing a delay in the emergence of commercial cyclists and vehicles until later in the day.

Highlighting that less than 10% of Enugu State’s workers, including senior staff, own personal vehicles, the lawyers raised concerns about the practicality of commuting to work on foot over several kilometers, enduring varying weather conditions.

The lawyers expressed their conviction that Governor Mbah, whom they labeled a prominent advocate of capitalism, seeks to significantly reduce the state’s workforce. They accused him of exploiting the pretext of combating insecurity to pursue his agenda under the belief that the workforce is excessively large.

The group criticized Governor Mbah’s unfair attempt to link the failure of his fight against IPOB to civil servants who are unable to report 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”.

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