Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) sit-at-home order recorded total compliance and success in Onitsha, the commercial city of Anambra state.
Business and commercial activities were shut down, including markets, banks, government offices, public and private schools.
Petrol and Gas stations were also not opened for business as streets and roads shops and artisans in both Onitsha and Nnewi shut for the day’s business.
All roads leading in and out of the town were ghosts of themselves as residents stayed away in obedience to the pro-Biafra group directive.
The ever-busy Onitsha-Enugu expressway of the Onitsha end of the Niger Bridge leading to Awka, the Onitsha Owerri road expressway, leading to Owerri, the Nnewi Okigwe expressway, the Onitsha Asaba expressway from the Asaba end of the bridge were deserted as no single vehicular movement was seen.
There was however heavy presence of stern-looking Army and Navy at both ends of Niger Bridge Head and Oga junction by Atani road respectively, ensuring no breakdown of law and orders by criminal elements.
Movement of certain persons on essential services including journalists, doctors, nurses and others were restricted as they were intercepted by soldiers who insisted they properly identified themselves before they were allowed to move to their respective destinations.
At the ever-busy Upper Iweka axis, business and commercial activities were grounded. Few persons were seen discussing in groups.
Those who spoke to the Nation said the total compliance was not unexpected following incidents of insecurity in the area, including attacks on Police officers and other security personnel and their formations as well as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
A trader, Edwin Ekemezie attributed the full compliance to the sit-at-home order to what he described as a mixture of fear and sympathy among the residents of the state.
“It’s not a surprise that the sit-at-home witnessed complete compliance in the South East. For me, residents decided to stay at home not necessarily because they love the struggle, but out of fear,” he said.
As at noon, newspaper vendors were yet to commence sales as no single national daily had landed in the area.
One of the vendors, simply identified as Ebele said, “It’s likely we won’t sell any paper today since none has come up till now. We may be selling two editions tomorrow.”