Major streets, business premises, as well as the state’s secretariat in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, were all deserted as a result of the sit-at-home order by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The IPOB’s sit-at-home order, which was partially observed before now, gained momentum again today, following the uproar observed last week Monday.
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Last Monday, residents of Umuahia alleged that members of IPOB were seen moving with guns, chasing people to go back to their houses and observe the sit-at-home order.
Schools, markets places and other business areas were instantly shut down for the fear of the unknown.
Our reporter, who went around some streets in Umuahia on Monday, said that this is the first time residents of Umuahia would totally comply with the sit-at-home order.
Daily Trust reports that at the state’s secretariat, most offices were under lock while the ones that were opened had a few staff hanging around with no official duties going on.
The secretariat which usually records a beehive of activities even with the IPOB sit-at-home order took a different dimension on Monday.
The government of Abia had threatened that any worker who stayed away from work on Mondays would face sanctions.
But that notwithstanding, over 80 per cent of workers were absent from work on Monday.
In some schools visited, no teacher or students was seen on the ground, as the gates of schools were all closed.
It was gathered that students were asked not to come to school today to avoid the repeat of last week’s panic, where everyone was running helter-skelter for safety while some schools decided to use this week as a midterm break.
The situation was not different in the markets.
In the popular Orieugba market, traders were only hanging around with their shops closed while they attend to buyers secretly.
In a chat, some traders who pleaded anonymity said they would not open their shops until the evening when the tension must have doused down.
The General Manager of Abia Newspapers And Publishing Corporation, Prince Tony Onyeomereneche, pleaded with residents to defile orders that could incapacitate the economy and go about their businesses without fear.
“It is not in Igbos to behave this way. People should not glorify miscreants without any reason. Igbos are known to be killers of lions, not cowards.
“This sitting at home for no reason is killing the economy of the South East. We are known for hard work. We have been surviving all these years. We are enterprising and not beggars”, he said.