Residents of Anambra State on Thursday complied with the sit-at-home directive issued by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), to protest the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Imo State.
IPOB through its spokesperson, Emma Powerful had said the directive was to express the displeasure of the people of the South-East zone, over Buhari’s visit, even when the leader of the group, Mr Nnamdi Kanu was still in detention.
Awka, Onitsha and Nnewi and all other towns in the state were on Thursday turned into ghost towns as government offices, schools, banks, motor parks, markets and other public places were all deserted.
It was gathered in Anambra that the level of compliance to the order was far more than what has been witnessed in the every-Monday sit-at-home, which was later suspended, but still being observed by south East residents.
At the popular Aroma Junction in Awka, only newspaper vendors were seen, as all the plazas housing diverse offices were under lock and keys. At Eke Awka market, which is the biggest market in the capital city, traders and buyers alike were not seen in the market.
A trader in Eke Awka, Mr Innocent Ibe said that the compliance was more of fear than of obedience to IPOB’s directive.
“If you watch, security in Nigeria has broken down and if you hear that people are asked to sit at home and you insist on coming out, you can be sure that whatever happens to you, you will be the one to be blamed.
“Most times, hoodlums take advantage of things like this to rob others. A lawyer from Igbo-Ukwu who was going to Enugu very early last two Mondays was accosted and dispossessed of his Lexus Jeep.
“The car was later recovered, but it turned out that those who stole the car were not IPOB members, but they used the opportunity of the every-Monday sit-at-home to attack the lawyer. I’m sure some people will be blaming him for even venturing out, but the truth was that thieves took the opportunity to rob him. Everybody is being careful, no one wants to fall victim to them.”