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Sit-at-home: IPOB’s Order Was Partially Successful, As Parts Of SE, SS Failed To Obey

By Our Correspondents

 

IPOB-Crowd

The plan by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to assert its control over the people of the South-East and some parts of the South-South failed in most parts of the two zones yesterday.

The order by the group to the Igbo to sit at home, as a mark of remembrance of the Biafran struggle, was not obeyed in totality.

Last year, at the peak of the popularity of the group, it had shut down the whole of the South-East and parts of the South-South on May 30.

Anambra

The sit-at-home in Onitsha, the commercial hub of Anambra State, was successful.

The Onitsha main market, as well as other markets, was shut down. Commercial banks and other big companies in both cities were also shut.

Motor parks in Onitsha, Nnewi and Awka, the state capital, were deserted as not a single bus could be found on the road. As a result, roads were also deserted, especially in the early hours of the day.

In Awka, however, the main Eke Awka market opened in the morning following what was said to be an order from the government.

Leaders of the market had, on Tuesday, announced the closure of the market.

Also, the state secretariat was open with skeletal activities going on there. The courts opened for full sessions.

In Awka, banks opened their back doors for business for fear of attacks, but there was no report of any attack.

Ebonyi, Delta

In Ebonyi, the sit-at-home witnessed failure in the state.

In Abakaliki, the state capital, all the major markets, including the popular Abakaliki Main Market located along Gunning Road, Kpirikpiri market and Eke-Aba markets opened for business as buyers and sellers were seen transacting businesses when our correspondent visited at 10:30a.m.

The situation was the same as the mechanic village where artisans were seen doing their normal work.

All the schools in the state, both private and public, and filling stations opened for academic and commercial activities respectively.

However, few schools and shops at Nkaliki axis of the capital city refused to open for academic activities.

Although transport companies opened for activities, most of them refused to carry passengers to Asaba, Onitsha and Owerri.

Also, when New Telegraph visited banks in the capital city, normal commercial activities were ongoing.

Security agents made up of police, Army and Civil Defence were seen moving around streets and major roads in the capital city.

In the afternoon, a police helicopter was seen hovering around the capital city.

The sit-at-home order also failed in Delta State.

Public and private schools, banks, industries, shopping malls and marketplaces, especially the biggest Ogbogonogo Market, along the popular Nnebisi road in Asaba, the state capital, and the Midwifery Market along Okpanam road, were fully in session.

As early as 6 a.m. in Asaba yesterday, men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Anti-Crime Patrol, Safer Highways Patrol, Anti-Cult Patrol, Anti-Kidnapping Squad and the Eagle Eye Patrol, had mounted guards on the sensitive flash-points within the metropolis.

Enugu

In Enugu, there was partial compliance with the sit-at-home order.

But 21 members of the Biafra Zionists Federation (BZF) were arrested by the police while marching to the Enugu Government House.

Our correspondent who moved round Enugu metropolis observed that security operatives were stationed at some strategic points while the mobile team patrolled the whole state, even as traffic in most roads were scanty.

Most public and private schools were shut even as the few public schools that opened witnessed low turnout of students, although some of the schools were said to be observing mid-term break.

Banks opened for business, but there was low patronage by customers, just as activities at the Enugu State Secretariat was at a low ebb as the premises were scanty and lacking the usual boisterous mien during normal working days when workers move around.

The ever-busy Coal Camp motor spare parts market and the Ogbete Main Market, as well as other markets in Enugu, were a ghost of what they used to be as most shops remain shut, with only food vendors and drinking joints holding sway.

Similarly, the ever-busy Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium Shopping Complex along Ogui Road, Enugu was a ghost town as all the shops were shut.

Many traders and artisans were seen at various drinking joints.

Meanwhile, members of the BZF, led by their self-acclaimed President, Benjamin Onwuka, were at the Enugu Government House as early as 7a.m. with Biafra flags.

The group had earlier vowed to be at the Government House on May 30 for the purpose of declaration of Biafra Republic.

Our correspondent reports that upon their arrival at the Government House gate, they were rounded up by security operatives.

The State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Superintendent of Police (SP) Ebere Amaraizu, confirmed the arrest of 21 agitators.

Our correspondent learnt that Onwuka and about 20 other members of the group were arrested while others escaped.

Imo

In Imo, residents defied the order as they freely went about their businesses ignoring the directive.

Unlike the last time it happened, markets, business offices, eatery joints and filling stations were all in full operations.

Not even the commercial banks which are usually careful and sensitive to issues of agitation were shut, as the Bank Road and banking hall bustled with activities.

The order did not stop civil servants, teachers and school children from reporting to their places of work and learning. Hawkers were not left out as the Bank Road/Assumpta Road hawkers were seen doing brisk business.

However, there was a heavy presence of security operative across the city.                       (New Telegraph)

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