Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia; Nonsochukwu Uwa, Owerri; Ike Nnachi Abakaliki; and Chukwudike Ndubeze, Awka
The entire South-eastern states from Abia to Ebonyi, Anambra to Imo, and Enugu were literally locked down as residents stayed indoors in solidarity with the Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
Economic activities in Owerri, the Imo State capital, were completely halted in total compliance with the sit-at-home order issued by IPOB.
Ikengaonline gathered from some residents in Owerri metropolis that solidarising with Kanu by staying indoors was not too much a sacrifice considering what he has gone through for the people.
Imo State was shut down on Monday in compliance with the weekly Monday sit-at-home order.
However, some residents who pleaded anonymity for security reasons, said they stayed at home to avoid being attacked by the enforcers of the sit-at-home order of the IPOB.
Ikengaonline, which monitored the exercise in parts of the state capital observed that banks, and markets along the streets of Owerri-Port Harcourt, Owerri-Aba, Owerri-Okigwe and Owerri-Onitsha roads were closed.
Shops and schools did not open while major streets in Owerri metropolis were empty, and residents were indoors.
Most hit by the sit-at-home order was the transportation sector as major transport companies closed for business.
Only a few commercial vehicles were taking the risk of driving along the empty roads.
Streets in Abia empty
From Umuahia the state capital to Aba the commercial centre of the state, the streets were deserted and roads very dry.
The entire state was totally locked down as residents stayed back in their homes expecting to get the latest update on the Abuja court proceeding to know the next line of action.
Apart from occasional movement of vehicles, perhaps on essential duties, the road was very dry as schools, banks and motor parks and markets were all shut down.
There was no report of clashes between security agents and enforcers of the sit-at-home so far in any part of the state.
IPOB declared sit-at-home in solidarity with Kanu who has been in detention at the Abuja headquarters of the Department of State Services, DSS, since his arrest in Kenya since June 2021.
Partial compliance in Ebonyi State
The exercise, however, recorded partial compliance in Ebonyi State.
Despite the visit of Vice President, Yemi Osinbanjo to Abakaliki, capital of Ebonyi State today, many residents chose to stay at home to observe the sit-at-home ordered by IPOB in the South-East.
Ikengaonline reporter who went round the city observed heavy security deployed to every corner of the city for the VP’s visit.
However, despite the heavy security beef up, residents chose to stay at home as most business premises were under lock.
Banks and filling stations did not open for business as residents who needed cash used the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).
Schools did not open as children were seem playing on the streets or at home. However, some eateries and a few other businesses were open for business in some parts of the city especially along Ogoja road, Water walks street and Afikpo road.
Intra city transport was available as commercial motorcyclists and tricycles were in operation.
The Margaret Umahi International Market was scanty as most shops were under lock and key. Vegetable and food crops section had some traders selling though some of them who spoke said they were recording low patronage as there were few customers who came to the market.
Most Government offices were open at the Ochudo Secretariat, but the atmosphere looked subdued.
Transport companies plying other states did not load but those involved in intra-state transportation were seen loading passengers.
Economic activities in Anambra State paralysed
Streets of Ekwulobia and other adjoining towns including Awka, the capital were deserted.
There were no human and vehicular movements.
This is believed to be due to fear and apprehension caused by the recent attacks by arm-wielding hoodlums in the state.
According to a source who refused to be mentioned, the streets of Ekwulobia are currently empty as markets, parks and banks in the area are not working.
According to her, the people are afraid of being victims of the dreaded unknown gunmen who had attacked the town yesterday.
“Nothing is happening in Ekwulobia. You cannot find a single pin out on the road. There is fear in the town, and everybody is in his/her house observing the sit-at-home because of what happened yesterday.”
Elsewhere in Awka , our Correspondent who monitored the situation found that the motor packs, especially at the popular Arroma junction, along the Enugu-Onitsha expressway were dry as no commercial vehicle was sighted.
Markets including the popular Eke-Awka and Nkwo Amaenyi were also deserted, while few traders were observed along the roadside of the market scantly displaying their wares under heavy caution.
Several filling stations and banks visited by our reporter along the same expressway were closed.
A commercial tricyclist who simply gave his name as Chijioke, said several roads were deserted as early as 7:30 am that he came out.
“I came out around 7:30 in the morning to hustle but discovered that roads are dry. Even the petrol sellers did not open, and some are just hanging around for customers,” he said.
Government establishments were also observed closed and offices under lock and key with seldom skeletal movements of some security personnel.
Ikengaonline reports that the high level of compliance the sit-at-home order recorded in Anambra may not be unconnected with the fragile security situation in the state.
Within the past couple of days, two council headquarters in the state – Ukpor, Nnewi, and Aguata in Ekwulobia were attacked by gunmen.