IPOB sit-at-home order cripples commercial activities in Owerri

Anthony Iwuoma

The Imo State capital, Owerri, was on Monday shut down, as residents observed the controversial sit-at-home order issued by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.
The IPOB had ordered the Monday sit-at-home until its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, is released from detention by the Department of State Security, DSS.
However, the oro-Biafra group cancelled the order, following appeals by Igbo leaders, including Ohaneze Ndigbo, because of its pernicious effects on the economy and social activities in the Southeast geopolitical zone.
The cancellation has not had any effect because while a section of IPOB had directed that the sit-at-home should be observed only on days Kanu would appear in court, another group insisted that it should continue to be observed every Monday in honour of the IPOB leader until he is released from detention.

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In Owerri on Monday, the state secretariat, banks, major streets, motor parks, schools, markets and most roads were deserted.

Some markets were opened but the traders refused to resume business while at the state secretariat along Port Harcourt road, most of the workers, who reported for work because of the government’s order, left immediately after signing the attendance register.

Although people were grieved by the way Ndigbo are treated in Nigeria and actually yearn for Biafra, a cross-section of the residents attributed the compliance with the sit-at-&home order to fear of the unknown rather than sympathy for IPOB and its leader and condemned the group’s style if agitation, which they say is creating more problems for the People.

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This is happening in spite of the resolution of the South-east Governors Forum and Igbo leaders in a meeting in Enugu to ensure that the order would no longer be observed in the zone.

Many saw the resolution as cheap talk because the governors have no means to tackle IPOB and enforce their decision.

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