They made the call when Radio Nigeria went round the City to monitor the level and impact of the one-day voluntary “Sit at Home” directive issued by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB and the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB. Major roads in Enugu which used to be a beehive of human and vehicular activities seemed deserted as some business premises were under lock in observance to the action.
Most Motor Parks in the Area witnessed a low turnout of passengers while some had limited vehicles to convey commuters. A transport Manager under anonymity blamed the situation on the sit at home order but said that the company witnessed an influx of passengers who traveled the previous day. For Traders in the major Markets of Ogbete and New markets, although no official directive from the unions were issued for traders not to open for business, shops were seen under lock.
According to Mr. Ben Edeh, he had to open to make ends meet, even though customers were nowhere to be seen. When Radio Nigeria went to both Federal and State Secretariats in the State, the turnout of workers were not impressive as some who came were afraid that they may not see means of transporting themselves. However, men of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Enugu State Command were seen patrolling to ensure maintenance of law and order.
Also, Economic and other human activities were paralyzed today in Imo state following the Sit- at- home call by Pro- Biafra groups. Radio Nigeria gathered that the ever busy Owerri- Port Harcourt road, Owerri- Umuahia road and Owerri- Onitsha road were scanty as only few vehicles were seen plying the routes. Motor parks and markets within Owerri looked deserted, few commercial vehicles and tricyles were seen within along the major streets of Owerri, the State capital. Banks were also closed for businesses though few Automated Teller Machines were seen dispensing cash, most filling stations visited were closed, Shops within and outside Owerri were under lock.
Private and public schools were not left out as most of the primary and secondary schools visited were either scanty or deserted. There was little presence of security operatives within the areas visited. However, there was an impressive turn out at the state secretariat in Owerri as workers were seen in their offices discharging their duties. When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in the State, DSP Andrew Enwerem said the state had been calm and peaceful.
He explained that security operatives were positioned at strategic locations across the state to forestall any breach of law and order noting that people were going about their normal businesses. Similarly, Police operatives patrolled major streets and roads in Abakaliki and its environs to ensure free flow of human and vehicular movement as well as to forestall any breakdown of law and order in Ebonyi State.
This followed the sit at home order issued by IPOB and MASSOB. Though government offices and some Banks opened their gates for business, commercial activities in major motor parks were paralyzed leaving some passengers stranded. In what appeared to be a show of force, the Police Operatives patrolled all the major streets and roads in Abakaliki metropolis with their siren blaring to the pick.
Other security operatives were also spotted at major roundabouts and junctions to ensure that no body was molested or prevented from engaging in his lawful business. The Police Public Relations officer in the state, Mr. Jude Madu explained that apart from Abakaliki, there were similar patrols in all the Local Government areas of the state. A visit to the state secretariat located at Centenary City and some secondary and primary schools in Abakaliki showed that workers turned up for their official duties in defiance to the sit at home order.
One of the workers who did not give her name to Radio Nigeria explained that there was only one government which she was obligated to serve. However there was partial compliance to the order at Abakpa main market as most shops were closed while commercial activities at some Banks and major motor parks in Abakaliki were at the lowest ebb as at the time i monitored the situation. Some of the respondents including Mr.Ikeji Onyekachi and Mrs.NgoziAkwuba however expressed concern over the situation and called on the government to enter into dialogue with Biafra agitators to reduce the tension in the South East.
Meanwhile, residents of Umuahia and its environs went about their normal businesses despite IPOB and MASSOB sit at home directive. Radio Nigeria correspondent who went round the city in company of the Commissioner of Police reports that most shops, schools, Markets and government offices were opened. Some of the people who spoke with Radio Nigeria said that they came out to carry out their legitimate duties noting that government did not declare today a public holiday.
At the state secretariat Ogwurube layout, workers were seen in their duty post carrying out their functions. However in Aba, the story was different as residents of the area obeyed the sit at home directive from IPOB. Most shops, markets and schools visited were under lock as business activities were paralyzed in the area. Briefing newsmen shortly after monitoring the situation, the State commissioner of Police, Mr. AdeleyeOyebade expressed satisfaction with the security situation.
Mr. Oyebade urged the people to feel free and go about their normal business as security agencies were on ground to protect them. Likewise, there was partial compliance to the sit-at-home order in Awka, the Anambra State Capital. Radio Nigeria observed that the popular Aroma junction that use to bubble with life was a shadow of itself as well as the popular UNIZIK temporary site and popular Eke-Awka market. Also many banks in the city were closed for business.
A Customer of one of the banks, Mr. Israel Ejiofor who expressed sadness over the development, said his purpose of coming to the bank had been defeated. Some Civil Servants in the state were also seen at their duty posts at the state secretariat. Radio Nigeria observed that some outfits were opened for business. The Commissioner of Police in the State, Mr. Sam Okaula, in a telephone interview with Radio Nigeria said from his patrol observations, people were going about their normal businesses without any problem. He explained that every part of the state was calm and peaceful and assured the people that security officers were on top of the situation.