Saturday, September 24

IPOB sit-at-home order paralyses activities in Anambra, Rivers

IPOB sit-at-home order paralyses activities in Anambra, Rivers

Imo records partial compliance

Enugu, Delta, Ebonyi ignore order

Group congratulates members

Partial compliance across the South- East States yesterday greeted the sitat- home-protest order by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the region. While economic activities in some states and its surroundings were grounded, others states recorded partial compliance, a development which prompted residents to begin to have a rethink.

But while IPOB congratulated all its members worldwide, the exercise was deemed a flop in Delta State, while reports from several cities showed that most Biafrans adhered to the protest directive. The IPOB slated yesterday, to embark on a protest to drive home their demand for the sovereign state of Biafra and unconditional release of the Director of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.

The group, to symbolise the release of its leader also released a pigeon with the colours of Biafra – red, yellow, black and green.

Markets, schools, banks shutdown

in Onitsha All markets, schools, banks and other activities were shut down in the commercial city of Onitsha in total compliance to IPOB order in Onitsha, Anambra State. Saturday Telegraph correspondent who monitored the sit at home compliance reports that the compliance commenced as early as 6am as all the streets were deserted and movement of people and vehicles were restricted by unseen IPOB members.

Meanwhile, security were beefed up in and around the commercial city to forestall any violence protest as a combined team of Police, Army, Navy and others are patrolling all nooks and crannies of the city. Saturday Telegraph gathered at the press time that no person has been arrested or shot while the Police public Relation Officer Anambra State Police Command, ASP Nkiru Nwode, confirmed that the sit at home was very peaceful as everybody went about their normal business without molestation. On his path the Chief Security Officer of the Anambra Vigilante Services, Chief A. Okpompi, told our reporter that the protest was peaceful when this reporter visited Onitsha Main Market.

Owerri records partial compliance…

In spite of the massive deployment of security personnel and strategic positioning of Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) in Owerri, the Imo State, it was evident that the sit-athome directive issued by IPOB recorded substantial success though not total.

By Thursday evening, there was already apprehension in the air and most parents eventually did not allow their wards to go to school or leave the house yesterday to avoid any confrontation until there was a clearer picture of the scenario in town.

Apparently, massive compliance was registered among craftsmen, traders, artisans and small businesses. Civil servants in the state who already had the option of either going to work or going to farm due to the three-day working week policy of the governor, conveniently sat at home and complied with the directive; a situation which left the state secretariat deserted.

In the early hours of the day it was clear that people were in doubt whether to come out or stay at home which led with many of them inadvertently complying with the sit-at-home directive. Within the period, the relief market was almost empty while operations at the New Market were scanty.

It was, however, around 1pm that near normalcy returned to the city with human and vehicular traffic increasing substantially. In the Orlu area of the state, most traders sat at home until about mid-day while banks did not throw their gates wide open but opened the gates only for customers and then lock it thereafter.

MASSOB, BIM disown directive

in Delta In Delta State, commuters and proprietors of businesses flouted the directive. The failure came after the Zonal Leader of the Movement for the Actualisation and Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and Biafra Independence Movement (BIM) in Delta North (Ibo speaking axis of Delta state), Chief Chinedu Amaifeobu, supported by Chief Felix Ugorechina and Pastor Boniface Amosite Onyenwe, Regional Administrators, Ukwuani and Aniocha South respectively, disassociated their groups from violent agitation. Also, the failure was unconnected with the signal from the police headquarters in the state on September 22, warning supporters of the group to steer clear of the state.

Although, there were suspicious movement of miscreants within Asaba metropolis, owing to its nearness to Onitsha, Anambra State, stern looking security operatives, including men of the Special Anti- Robbery Squad (SARS), Anti-Riot Squad and Anti- Kidnapping Squad, took strategic locations at the Asaba end of the River Niger Bridge and along the Asaba-Onitsha Expressway, to forestall break down of law and order. Banks, schools, petrol stations and other private and government institutions opened for business transactions.

Business grounded

in Port Harcourt Economic activities in Port Harcourt and surroundings were grounded yesterday following the sit-at-home order by the Indigenous Peoples of Bi- afra, IPOB. Although, there were no protests across the state as was the case last year, but yesterday’s sit-at-home order curtailed the movement of goods and persons, especially in Port Harcourt.

At the Ikoku area of Port Harcourt where security operatives made arrests during previous IPOB protests, there was a large deployment of security operatives, who had taken over the adjoining spare parts market, which operators were at home.

Some Biafra flags that had been mounted in parts of Ikoku were brought down by the security operatives who were armed and combat ready. While some markets opened for business, and entertained sellers and buyers who carried out transactions, most of the shops along the major roads were shut, with some areas deserted, just as only a handful of commercial vehicles were on the road.

The sit-at-home order by IPOB also forced some private school owners not to operate, as their pupils stayed at home.

Residents defy order

in Enugu Residents of Enugu metropolis did not obey the sit-at-home call yesterday made by pro-Biafra groups, Indigenous people of Biafra(IPOB)and movement for the actualisation of sovereign state of Biafra (MASSOB) as markets, shops, banks, schools and offices were opened for business as gathered by Saturday Telegraph. Although it was observed that some people in obedience to the call did not open their shops, it was clear that the Coal City residents defied the stay at home appeal.

From Garriki in Enugu South to Ogbete, all business premises were open for business and children went to school unmolested. Transporters carried on with their businesses as if nothing happened. Saturday Telegraph Investigation shows that the second largest city in Enugu State, Nsukka did not obey the call either as people went about their normal businesses.

“There is nothing like sit-at-home here. People are going about their businesses,” a resident of Nsukka told our correspondent. In anticipation for a possible protest or riot over the call, police and soldiers were seen stationed at strategic positions in Enugu metropolis with unsmiling faces.

Non-compliance in Ebonyi

However, the order recorded non-compliance with normal activities unstopped in Abakiliki, the Ebonyi State capital. When Saturday Telegraph visited some major markets and motor parks, normal activities were seen. Public and Civil Servants were also seen on their duty posts when our correspondent visited.

There was serious presence of police in strategic locations, including the popular Nkaliki where MASSOB office is located as policemen took over the area. However, at Water Works and Ogoja roads, teargas was thrown by security agents to disperse some groups suspected to be members of IPOB and MASSOB.

Speaking to Saturday Telegraph from his base in Ebonyi Local Government Area of the state, the state Coordinator of IPOB, Mr. Ugochukwu Nweke, described the people of the state as myopic and coward in the Biafra struggle.

“Ebonyi residents are myopic but we the IPOB are resolute, we cannot succumb to all manner of threats, intimidations and harassments by security agents and the Nigeria government. “We are unstoppable and we cannot mind Ebonyi people who are not concerned on Biafra course, they have never behaved like Igbos,” he said.

Business activities paralysed

in Aba Business and commercial transactions in Aba was paralysed following the sitat- home order by IPOB. The usual traffic jam at major roads in the city was conspicuously absent.

Apart from the few tricycle operators residents of the city would have found it difficult to move from one place to the order. Traders at the Ariaria International observed the order as many market shops were under lock and key. Also, most shops in the area were closed as the traders strictly obeyed the order.

A trader along Pound Road, Mr. Okoh Vincent, said: “I decided not to open for business for fear of being attacked or caught in the web of pro-Biafran security operative confrontations.”

Efforts to speak to various chairmen proved abortive as the situation was same at the Ngwa Road market popularly called Ahia Ohuu and the shopping complex along Aba Owerri Road. Some of the commercial banks in the city were closed while few attended to customers amid tight security.

IPOB congratulates members worldwide

Meanwhile, IPOB having come to the conclusion of its sit-at-home protest, yesterday congratulated all its members worldwide. The IPOB said it appreciates all members, lovers of freedom and friends of Biafra all over the world for their support towards a successful sit-at-home protest in solidarity for the unconditional release of its leader Nnamdi Kanu.

The group said: “The Indigenous people of Biafra IPOB worldwide and the Directorate of State DOS congratulated the people of Biafra worldwide, friends of Biafra, lovers of freedom all over the world for their supports towards the successful sit at home order and successful protest across the globe in solidarity for the release of our leader prophet Nnamdi Kanu and for restoration of Gods nation Biafra.”

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