The governor warned that if the situation does not change, the economy of the region will be affected.
Umahi spoke with state house correspondents on Monday after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja.
He expressed that the south-east leaders and Ohanaeze Ndigbo are working to address the grievances of the youths of the region.
Commenting on the sit-at-home order, he said: “It is a question of fear.
“You know, the easiest thing to do is to carry a weapon and kill somebody, and that’s what happened in the past.
“And that’s why, you know, some people in the south-east are afraid of coming out. So it’s not a question of compliance. It’s a question of fear.
“You’ll find out that no south-east man wants to miss a day of work. They like to work, they are into trade, commerce, and they want to earn their daily living.
“So this is something that the nation Nigeria must know. And it’s something that security agencies must know. Security agencies must know that they owe south-east people the duty to protect their lives and this is the reason why it appears that in some states, there is compliance to sit at home, even though like you said, IPOB has said it’s suspended.
“But it’s the worst thing to happen to south-east because it will destroy the economy of south-east.”