On Monday the state secretariat, banks, major streets, motor parks, schools and markets in many parts of Owerri, Imo State capital, on Monday, were deserted as residents observed the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) sit-at-home order.
Correspondent who moved round to monitor the level of compliance gathered that even though markets were opened, traders refused to resume for business.
At the state secretariat complex along Port Harcourt road, Owerri, DAILY POST observed that most workers came to work because of the government’s order, but they left almost immediately after signing the attendance register.
Recall that commercial activities were gradually returning before last Monday’s stampede that grounded the state capital and forced many residents home to avert any ugly situation.
It had been reported that no known or ugly incident was recorded but residents were seen rushing home for fear of the unknown.
When our correspondent visited some major markets like Eke-Ukwu Owerri, Amakohia market, and Nworieubi market, they were all scanty, shops were under lock and keys as marketers stayed indoors in strict adherence to the order.
A resident, Mr Martin Nwoke, said the fear of being attacked forced them to stay at home while others said they had come to terms with the issues that were fuelling the demand for self-determination.
It was also observed that streets around Government House Owerri and other parts of the metropolis were deserted, with few vehicular movements. Schools like Alvan Ikoku College of Education, Akwakuma Secondary School, among others were also closed.
Motorparks like Okigwe park, Arugo motor park, and Mbaise park on Egbu road were all deserted as motorists and passengers alike stayed away.
Recall also that a meeting of South-East Governors’ Forum and leaders ended in Enugu last Tuesday with a declaration that no further sit-at-home would be observed in the zone.
However, residents of Owerri have remained in their homes.
It had been reported that IPOB ordered the cancellation of the Monday sit-at-home following appeals by Igbo leaders, including Ohaneze Ndigbo, because of the negative impact it was having on the economy of the southeast geopolitical zone.
While a section of IPOB had directed that the sit-at-home should be observed only on days Nnamdi Kanu, its leader, would appear in court, another group insisted that every Monday should be observed as a mark of respect for the IPOB leader until he is released from detention.