Residents of Anambra State have defied a five-day sit-at-home order called by a faction of the Indigenous People of Biafra, as normal commercial and economic activities took place across the major cities of the state.
A faction of the IPOB had through a video that circulated online last Tuesday, ordered the people of the South-East to observe a sit-at-home from December 9-14, 2022.
The video raised huge tensions, complaints, reactions and agitations from various quarters across the region concerning the negative effect of “locking” down the region for five days, especially as yuletide beckons.
But the tensions were doused when in a swift reaction, the pro-Biafran group, through its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, in a statement, on Tuesday, directed the people to ignore the order, describing it as a “senseless” order from those against the Biafra agenda.
Our correspondent who went round the major cities of Onitsha, Nnewi, Awka, and Ekwulobia on Saturday, observed that normal activities went on, even as the people rejoiced over the last-minute cancellation of the order.
A market leader at the Nnewi Autoparts Dealers Market, Chief Stephen Asoh, said it would have been suicidal if the said five-day sit-at-home was allowed to stay, adding that the South-East is losing a lot of revenues as a result of the situation.
Asoh said, “We thank God that the sit-at-home did not hold otherwise how are we going to cope with it as we approach the Christmas season?
“The South-East is losing a lot of revenues to other regions as a result of the Monday sit-at-home already being observed, so, asking us to lockdown for a whole five days at this critical period will mean bringing down the economy of the region to a halt. It is a welcome development that IPOB has clarified their stand on the matter.”
A member of the Board of Trustees, at the Mgbuka Autos Market in Onitsha, Chief Bernard Osiwu, called on relevant security agencies to beef up security around public facilities and markets on the said days to forestall any breakdown of law and order.
“Over 70 per cent of revenues in the South-East come from trade and commerce and the Monday sit-at-home is already hurting our economy, and then asking us to go for five days lockdown on a stretch in this Christmas season, would have been a suicide mission.
“We can only appeal to the security agencies to beef up security around public facilities and marketplaces to enable people to go about their normal businesses on those said days. We have been wondering how we are going to survive the five-day lockdown when the video came out, but it was a relief to us as IPOB has dissociated itself from the video. So, we urge the police and other security outfits to be on the alert on those days,” Osiwu added.
This is just as the Anambra State police spokesman, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, assured the residents of adequate security and urged them to continue going about their normal business without any fear of harassment.