Anambra State government announced that ‘life has returned to normal’ in the state after the mayhem of last week which saw gangs attack law enforcement agents, burn down police stations, vandalize public buildings, extort monies from law-abiding citizens and make life generally difficult for the people. This followed from weeks of #EndSARS protests across Nigeria, spearheaded by youths.
Don Adinuba, the state commissioner for information and public enlightenment, said normal activities have returned fully in the state. These include: markets; private and public offices opened fully on Monday, and closed at the normal time; motor parks and commercial vehicles operated normally, with good patronage; hotels, restaurants, bars and other entertainment places have since reopened fully. The roads and streets were full of millions of energetic, hardworking and confident people, he said.
Adinuba said the people were encouraged to resume normal life by Governor Willie Obiano’s assurance after a meeting he held in Awka, the state capital, at the weekend with security and intelligence chiefs, including the deputy inspector general of Police, Celestine Okoye, who is an indigene of the state.
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The governor had also warned that further attacks on public facilities and public officers planned by some gangsters on Monday would be contained, insisting that his administration was able to turn Anambra from a gangster state dominated by kidnappers, armed robbers and contract assassins to arguably Nigeria’s safest and most peaceful state, with an unparalleled stock of social harmony.
In March last year (2019), one year into his second term of office, Governor Obiano had said Anambra’s gross domestic product (GDP) increased 40 percent to N4.2 trillion in the last five years (2014-2019), from N3 trillion previously. He promised to expand the state’s economic base in the next three years to 2022.
Adinuba explained that the state government was able to achieve the normalcy through combined monitoring policemen, the Army and Navy dominating the streets in towns and cities. Others are efforts by the Department of State Security, Nigeria Civil Defence and Security Corps, Immigration Service, Correctional Service, and the state vigilante group. Also, a prominent part was played by thousands of youths in the state, who heeded the governor’s urge to reclaim the villages, towns and cities; while the presidents general of town unions and the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe, added fillip to the efforts.
However, the state’s economy is still harried by the wanton looting and destruction of many public facilities, including businesses. Economists and analysts are still computing the quantum of loss in the state, like other sub-nationals. For Lagos State, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said the economic behemoth lost about N700 billion in the first 12 days of the #EndSARS protest fallouts.