The Sit-At-Home order proclaimed by the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) for all Igbos around the world recorded total compliance in Abia State and other Southeast States including Igbo speaking Delta and Rivers Atates as residents in the cities of Umuahia, Aba and Ohafia, Abakiliki, Enugu, Awka and Owerri, Asaba and Obigbo stayed indoors, leaving the streets empty.
IPOB had called for the worldwide Sit-At-Home order in honour of over five million Igbos and non Igbos from the Eastern Region and Midwest who died during the Nigeria-Biafra civil war that started on May 30, 1967 and ended on January 15, 1970.
Our Reporter, who monitored the level of compliance, stated that not even the tricycle operators and Keke riders, known for their usually disobedience to directives from any quarter were not seen in the streets.
Commercial banks and other financial institutions, including markets, schools, government offices, hospitals and clinics as well as restaurants in Umuahia, Aba and Ohafia, Awka, Abakiliki, Owerri, Okigwe, Orlu, Onitsha, Enugu, Nsukka, Obigbo were under lock and key.
Markets like Ogbete in Enugu, Ochanja in Onitsha, Relief in Owerri, Eke in Abakiliki and Ariaria International in Aba were all under lock and key, according to our Reporter who monitored them. Trader, he acknowledged, stayed away apparently because of the fear of being harmed by IPOB supporters.
A human rights activist, Dr Charles Chinekezie said the development is a signal that the people are not happy with the federal government, saying that the best way to stop the agitation is for the federal government to de-proscribe IPOB and engage its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and others on a conference table.
“Confronting this group with guns and bullets has been found to be counterproductive; what should be done is to engage them in a conference table and resolve the matter amicably”, he counseled.
IPOB is seeking for the independence of Biafra through referendum that will enable the former Eastern Nigeria to become a separate nation, a move the federal government sees as mutinous and then outlawed it.
In Umuahia, major roads such as Umuwaya, Aba, Ikot Epkene, Club and even streets like Eket, Lagos, Abam, Warri etc were deserted as at 3pm. Residents were noticed peeping from their houses on the sound of passersby.
In Aba, popular streets and roads like Ube, East, Ehi, Azikiwe, Market, Faulks were like ghost towns as at 2pm on Monday etc. The same scenario played out in Ogui Road, Independence Layout, Zik Avenue, all in Enugu and Achara Layout as well as Upper Iweka in Onitsha.
Isiama Afaraukwu, Umuahia, home town of IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu was also serene and quiet.
His kinsmen maintained stoic silence over the Sit-At-Home order. Emmanuel Kanu, his younger brother said they are still monitoring the event and would comment later in the day.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.