As the burial of the parents of Nnandi Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, commenced on Friday, most schools and shops in Umuahia were under lock and key.
A check by the News Agency of Nigeria showed the schools and shops were under lock and key due to the palpable fear of possible clash between IPOB members and security agents.
Most of the primary and secondary schools visited were empty as students and pupils were absent.
HRH Eze Israel Kanu, the father of Nnandi Kanu, and mother, Sally Kanu, are being buried on Friday at Isiama Afara-Ukwu in Umuahia North Local Government Area.
Some of the parents, while reacting to the closure of schools, told NAN that the proprietors had earlier in the week told their children to stay at home on Friday for security reasons.
One of the parents, Carol Chikwendu, said: “My children were told on Thursday by their schools not to come to school today Friday for safety reasons.
“My children were supposed to start their mid-term tests today (Friday), but it has been postponed till Monday.”
Another parent, Gloria Ekezie, said she had called her daughter’s school on Thursday to inquire about it and was told that there would be no school on Friday.
A shop owner at Isiama, Kate Nwachukwu, said it was natural for them to shut down for business considering the tension and anxiety the burial had caused in the past days.
Nwachukwu said: “We saw what happened here in 2017 during Operation Python Dance by the Nigerian Army.
“Innocent lives were lost.
“So nobody would wish to be a victim of such incidence any longer.”
Meanwhile, NAN reports that the situation was generally calm in the capital city as at the time of this report.
Many visitors, especially those suspected to be IPOB members, were present in the city to witness the burial of the traditional ruler and his wife.
The police and other sister security agencies were also everywhere to ensure maximum security.