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Sit-at-home-order: IPOB shuts down Onitsha

By Pamela Eboh, Awka on 30/05/2018

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The ever bubbling commercial city of Onitsha, Anambra State was earlier today, (Wednesday) a ghost of itself as residents in compliance with the Sit at home order by the Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB stayed from the roads.

While markets remained shut down, commercial transport operators stayed off the roads, leaving it quiet.

The major roads and streets in the city, Bridge Head, Upper Iweka, Owerri Road which never lack activities were all deserted.

In the capital city of Awka, there was partial compliance during the rush hour period until mid-morning when the major market in the state was opened for business.

Meanwhile, many traders shunned the order not to come to the market for business but met the market closed until the security men received instruction from the market chairman for the market to be opened. 

There was however loud jubilation when the market gates were thrown open for regular business activities at about 9am, and as soon as the market was opened, shops along the road as well as roadside traders took to their spots to begin their trading.

When News Express correspondent went around the city, security operatives were seen moving in convoys apparently to ensure there was no breakdown of law and order.

Also, security helicopter crew took to the sky to monitor the situation of things.

A trader who spoke to News Express, Mrs Chinwe Onuorah, said that with the hard times experienced in the country, there was no reason for markets to be shut down.

She said: “There is no doubt about the marginalisation against the Igbo in Nigeria, but we have to do our business so we can eat. For example, a fruit seller whose family depends on the fruits she sells to put food on the table daily cannot be locked up at home because of IPOB order.

“Some of my customers promised to come and settle their debts today, and you expect me to stay at home? No, please. We are business people by nature and a day out of business takes away a lot. There are other subtle ways IPOB can drive home their point.”

At the popular aroma junction which leads to the state secretariats, it was a beehive of activities even as motorcycle operators were on their pitch waiting for passengers.

The banking sector was however in total compliance of the order as most of the new generation banks remained under lock and key except for few of the bank staff who were monitoring the ATM from inside the banking hall.

Some customers that came out for bank transactions were seen hanging around the bank premises in the hope that it would eventually open for business, even as long queues were seen at the ATM points.

At the state secretariat, civil servants in compliance of the instruction from the state government were seen early in the morning trickling into the complex as early as 8am. Most schools, however, were closed because of the midterm break that started.

Deserted Upper Iweka area of Enugu/Onitsha Expressway on Wednesday morning. Photo: Pamela Eboh

Source News Express

Posted 30/05/2018 7:34:25 PM





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