Sit-at-home: Markets, banks, schools shut down in Onitsha

All the markets, streets shops, banks, schools were shut at Onitsha and its environs to the sit-at-home order.

There was full compliance in Onitsha, the commercial city of Anambra State, to the sit-at-home order declared, for Friday, by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in protest against killings, arrest, detention of members and against the Operation PYTHON DANCE 3 in South-East zone.

All the markets, streets shops, banks, schools were shut at Onitsha and its environs to the sit-at-home order.

Newsmen, who monitored the exercise, observed that Onitsha Main Market and others major markets in the city were deserted as young boys were seen playing football on the streets, roads and parks in the markets.

A security man at the Main Market who gave his name as Ejike said that the market was opened for business based on the government directive that every market, schools should be opened but noted that traders shunned the market.

There was skeletal vehicular movement in the city as only few commercial tricycle operators were seen on the road while the buses and lorries were not seen on the roads as there was no vehicle coming in or going out of Onitsha through the River Niger Bridge at the of filing this report.

However, security operatives were observed patrolling the roads and streets to ensure peace and order as well as to prevent acts capable of causing a breach of the peace in the area.

A leader of the joint security patrol team, who declined to be named, said that they arrest two hoodlums as they were robbing passersby at Marine Area of Onitsha, saying that there was an incident of robbing by hoodlums at Ochanja market.

The officer said that some hoodlums wanted to hijack the exercise to loot and rob innocent citizens and promised to come down on them, stressing that the city was generally calm and peaceful.

There was also heavy security at bridgehead Onitsha apparently to forestall any breakdown of law and order by IPOB members who might come out on the road to stop vehicular movements along the expressway.

A trader, Mr. Obiora Nede, said that he obeyed the sit-at-home order on his own volition because of what is happening in the country where, he claimed, the people of South East have been turned to slaves, due to high level of marginalisation and intimidation by the government in power.

“They announced that we should go to market and open the market but no trader came out today because we are tired of being in this country and wanted our own sovereign state.

“The level of intimidation, harassment and marginalisation meted on the people of Ndigbo is too high that we cannot contain again, we want the international community to come to our aid before they wipe out our generation in this country,” Nede stated.