The sit-at-home order by the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) was partially observed in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, while the protest was fully complied with in Aba, the commercial nerve centre of the state with people staying indoors peeping through their windows.
In Umuahia, it was mixed grill as government offices opened, while banks and other public institutions were under lock and key. Some traders in the capital city went about their businesses unmolested while public and civil servants reported to their various duty posts.
Nonetheless, the failure of the sit-at-home order in Umuahia could be attributed to the suspension of the exercise by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s younger brother, Kalunta Kanu’s directive that the protest be suspended to enable students taking their NECO examinations to do so without hindrance.
However, the protest was fully complied with in Aba as traders in the famous markets such as Ariaria International market, Cemetery market, Ekeoha Market, Ngwa Road market were not seen in their shops.
The streets in Aba were virtually empty as people remained indoors in obedience to the order. A resident, who simply gave her name as Ogechi said she was at home to avoid being harassed by either the law enforcement agencies or members of IPOB.
Meanwhile, a human rights activist, Dr Charles Chinekezi described the protest as a huge success in Aba, adding that it shows that the activities of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB are well taken by Ndigbo worldwide and therefore can no longer be swept under the carpet.
“To me, I don’t see Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB as rabble rousers; I see them as a group fighting for justice, equity and fairness for not only Ndigbo, but entire Nigerians which must be addressed without further delay. The case of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is the case of one man who wants things to be done rightly, where there would not any first class or second class Nigerian, or different laws for different people in the same country.
“This is the time for the government at the centre, if there’s any, to immediately begin the process of restructuring so that the country will move forward. For now, Nigeria is on a standstill, at a crossroad: not moving for and not moving backward; this is sad”, he enthused.
However, in Ebonyi State the protest recorded 60 percent compliance, Anambra State 95 percent, Imo State 95percent, and Enugu 90percent.
Even though there were confusion, fears and apprehension over the conflicting order from IPOB’s spokesman, Emma Powerful and a member of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s family over the continuation of the exercise, commercial activities in the Southeast were nonetheless paralysed in the zone on Monday.
Most schools were already on holidays, but schools which were rounding off their yearly events like End of School Extra Curriculum activities were equally under lock and key to save their pupils/students from harassed.
Our Reporter said some unidentified hoodlums allegedly burnt a Hiace bus at Nkwogwu junction, Mbaise in Imo State as some people were reportedly killed in the process; adding however, that besides that no record of any major violence across the zone as the time of publishing the report.
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.