Sit-at-home Order: Normalcy returns to Imo as commercial activities resume

By AdvocateNews on 13/09/2021

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Reports reaching The Advocate Newsroom has indicated that the weekly sit-at-home order by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, did not record total compliance in some cities in the South East.

In Owerri, the Imo state capital, reports said for the first time some residents on Monday made a volte-face and carried out their usual daily business activities.

While vehicles flooded the roads, businesses, fast-food centres, artisans, roadside traders, supermarkets and mobile food vendors operated freely.

Although businesses at the major markets were not at their peak, a reasonable percentage of buying and selling went on in virtually all the local government areas of the state just as okada operators ferried passengers to their various destinations unhindered.

Areas within Owerri capital city including the state capital, Wetheral, Douglas, Tetlow, Onitsha, Port Harcourt, Okigwe, Mbaise, Aba and Orlu roads were saturated with vehicles, even as intra-city bus services by the “BusImo Drivers” were available for commuters.

However, some fear-stricken ‘sensitive’ institutions such as banks public and private schools apprehensive of a possible invasion by hoodlums still remained adamant and refused to throw their doors open for customers, students and pupils.

Roads empty, traders absent as markets open in Abia

In Abia state, reports said no trader was on sight on Monday as the gates of the various markets in the state were open for business.

The state government had urged market and motor union leaders to open for their various activities and threatened to shut market and motor unions who fail to comply with the directive.

The government also directed security agents to provide security at suspected flashpoints and patrol the roads.

But it was gathered that the gates of the major markets in the state such as the Ariaria International, Ekeoha, Cemetery, among others were open but there were no traders and customers in sight.

Banks, filling stations, and other business centres remain shut while government offices were open following the warning by the state government to civil servants to be at their duty posts.

Motor parks were also deserted, including the ever-busy motor parks at Isi gate, Osisioma, Cooperative, and Aba main.

Only a few keke operators were sighted along some road doing brisk business as the roads were empty.

Contrary to the directive of the state government, there were no police patrols as the policemen were only seen around the location of their stations.

However, most residents lament that the sit-at-home order has been biting hard on them after they had exhausted their savings at the weekend. 

“According to a Keke operator,“ The sit at home is biting hard on us. I pay for my weekly returns every Monday morning. How do I get such money when people don’t come out on Monday? I feed my family and maintain my tricycle. Now, we hear there is another sit at home tomorrow and Friday. Those who gave the sit at home should devise another strategy because this one is biting hard on the people.”

Enugu, the coal city paralysed

In Enugu there was total compliance as the roads remained deserted while markets were shut on Monday. 

Reports from different parts of the state also indicated that many residents remained indoors on Monday though there was no group enforcing the order. The IPOB had announced suspension of the order but the residents and business operators have not summoned courage to carry out their activities on Mondays.

It was observed that many confined themselves to their homes for fear of being attacked just as the Enugu State government has continued to maintain silence over the disturbing development.

Posted 13/09/2021 2:38:38 PM


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