An attempt by the Anambra State Government to avert the on-going nationwide strike in the state failed as state’s civil servants, Federal Government workers, and those of the Local Government system and some private organizations such as banks, insurance companies and fuel stations effectively joined and adhered to the strike since Monday.
The Guardian investigation in Awka revealed that the organized labour and civil society groups’ earlier plan to carry out street protest in the state on Tuesday January 10, 2012 in Onitsha, was quickly shelved when they got security report that Government and security agencies would organize hoodlums that would have challenged them and in the process kill some people.
But a group under the aegis of South East Democratic Initiative (SEDI), has condemned what it described as “the plot by the South East Governors to subvert the subsidy protest in the zone.”
In a statement issued from its office at Arroma Junction Awka yesterday, they lambasted Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State for banning public demonstration in the state as a ploy to sabotage the workers protest.
The statement signed by its (SEDI) director of Campaign and Publicity, Comrade Emeka Ejiofor said that anti-democratic position of the Governors has shown why these governors have subjected their people to “poverty and suffering” since the return of democracy.
The group also however commended Labour leaders in the zone especially Anambra and Enugu states for their steadfastness and by defying their Governors to join other “freedom fighters” in the strike, stressing that soon the progressive forces will flush out all these autocratic rulers” in South East zone.
Also the traders in Onitsha markets and others around however failed to shut down the markets but the commercial activities there have been very low due to the absence of customers who chose to remain in their homes.
Their regular and usual customers from Cameroun, Delta, Edo, Kogi, Benue, Cross River, Enugu, Imo, Rivers and other states have not been coming due to the strike, saying that the closure of banks in the commercial town also contributed to lull in business activities.
Consequently, human and vehicular movement into and out of Onitsha have been very light, with a lot of people preferring to stay indoor and watch events. Schools, primary, post primary and tertiary institutions in the state have been shut down due to the strike.
But a Government House, Awka source said that the state Governor Peter Obi influenced the market leaders in the state not to join the strike by making sure that markets are open.