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IPOB’s suspended sit-at-home still grounds businesses in South East

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[FILES] Members of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) protesting at Federal High Court during trial of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu …yesterday. PHOTO: LUCY LADIDI ATEKO


Despite the announced suspension of the sit-at-home order by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), economic and social activities witnessed a slow and late start in Enugu, Imo, Anambra and Ebonyi states, as residents stayed indoors yesterday.

The Guardian gathered that the resolve to stay away from the roads, offices and businesses was to avoid the wrath of the pro-Biafra group.

Although the IPOB, through its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, had amended the weekly sit-at-home order to be observed any day its detained leader, Nnamdi Kanu, is scheduled to appear in court, activities did not start in the state until around 10 a.m. yesterday.

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Powerful had asked South East residents to go about their normal activities, as the earlier announcement ordering the shutdown of the region “every Monday until Kanu is released unconditionally,” had been suspended.

Last Monday, the entire South East was deserted following the order asking residents to remain at home from dawn to dusk in solidarity with Kanu.

IN Imo State, some residents, motorists and shop owners still went ahead to observe the order, yesterday. Shops were closed, motorists were off the road while financial houses also offered skeletal services through the back doors.

The Head of IPOB’s Directorate of States, Chika Edoziem, had also reportedly issued a statement, amending the order.

His words: “The weekly sit-at-home stands suspended, which means, coming Monday, there will be no ghost town in Biafraland.”

Consequently, the police command, Sunday night, issued a statement warning miscreants not to disrupt people’s movement.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Michael Abattam, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), stated: “Imo State Police Command is issuing a strong warning to any person or group, under any illegitimate guise, forcing residents of Imo to sit at home on Monday, August 16, 2021 or cause any breakdown of law and order to desist from such act or will be severely sanctioned, if caught.”

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SIMILARLY, in Awka, Anambra State, banks, filling stations and other business premises remained closed as at noon, yesterday.

Also, markets, including Eke Awka, Nkwo Amaenyi and Timber Shed did not open for business. However, people were seen in clusters buying or selling mostly food items near Eke Awka, but most shops along Zik Avenue, Arthur Eze Road and the popular Aroma area of Awka remained closed.

EBONYI was not left out, as business and social activities were crippled in the state. Some residents told The Guardian that people were not well-informed on the suspension order.

Two bank customers, Eunice Chukwu and Emmanuel Onwe, lamented that they could not transact business due to the development.

At the Peace, Romchi, Royal and Onitsha South mass transit parks, among others, the gates were shut while passengers were stranded.

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