BEVERLY HILLS, May 31, (THEWILL) – Economic and commercial activities came to a standstill on Monday in the South-East region of the country.
This desertion of the public space came in compliance with the sit-at-home order issued by the proscribed group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
THEWILL reports that IPOB, through its Director of Media and Publicity, Emma Powerful, had said human and vehicular movements would be restricted across the South-East on Monday, instead of the originally planned Sunday May 30 sit-at-home, which it shifted purportedly to accommodate Christians attending church service.
It further directed all markets, parks, schools, airports and others to shut down in order to mark the 54th anniversary of Biafra and in memory of those it described as dead heroes of the aborted nation.
Reacting to the directive, the Imo State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, and the police asked the people to ignore the separatist group’s sit-at-home order.
However, reports said that commercial banks, schools, shops, malls, were all shut in Owerri on Monday morning.
Also, commercial and private vehicles deserted the roads in the state capital.
However, there is a heavy presence of security operatives in strategic places in the city to forestall any breakdown of law and order.
In Abia State, streets were deserted, with shops under lock and key, while in Anambra State, the situation remained the same.
Economic and social activities have been halted, with a heavy security presence in major locations of the state to maintain law and order.
The situation was not too different in Ebonyi State as a few vehicles were seen plying the highway.
The inner streets were deserted with security men positioned at different locations.
The state’s Governor David Umahi had at the weekend reversed himself to say that no resident would be penalised who chose to stay at home, instead of complying with his earlier directive that citizens armed themselves with cutlasses to defend themselves against IPOB enforcers and any businesses that remained shut would be taken over by the state.
In a similar development, in the South-South, many businesses in the Delta State capital, Asaba, were shut as residents complied with the sit-at-home order. Banks and major shopping malls were closed.
At the popular Wood Market along the Asaba-Onitsha expressway, most shops remained shut with a few traders seen hanging around.
The expressway leading to the Head Bridge was completely deserted, while businesses along the expressway were also shut.