Sit-at-home halts movements in Enugu, Imo, Anambra

Following the resumed trial of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu at the Federal High Court, Abuja, activities were halted in Enugu State on Wednesday, as residents heeded to the sit-at-home directive.

Wednesday’s sit-at-home is the second this week, as residents observed the usual Monday directive in the South East region.

Major roads and streets in the state were stranded, as markets, banks, government institutions and schools were shut down.

The IPOB leader who had been detained by the Directorate of State Service (DSS) since last year, resumed to court yesterday to proceed with his trial over charges levelled against him by the Federal Government.

Residents have continued to bemoan the consequence of the ‘forced holiday’ on the economy of the region.

According to Enugu-based businessman, Chief Jude Ugwu, it had become increasingly hard to plan in the zone, adding: “They want to completely destroy the South East economically, because they know that the coercion will be extended to any day the matter is adjourned in court.”

Similarly, in Imo, activities were grounded in the 27 councils of the state, as residents kowtowed with the sit-at-home order.

In Owerri, the streets, shops, markets, banks, schools and public places were deserted and closed. Points of Sale (POS) operators also closed their businesses.

Volatile communities in the state, such as Orlu and Mbaise complied with the directive just as most workers stayed away from work, while pupils and students converted major roads in the capital city and other places to football fields.

Citizens criticised the government and security agencies for their negligence to identify those behind the enforcement of the order and dialogue with IPOB with a view to lifting the order in the interest of the economy and the people.

Moreover, businesses and public activities were paralysed in Anambra State as streets were deserted, markets, schools, churches and banks closed down in solidarity with Kanu’s appearance in court.

Residents of Awka stayed indoors for fear of being attacked by members of the pro-Biafra movement, while security operatives evacuated checkpoints, except those on duty at police stations and command centres.

Meanwhile, IPOB claimed that security operatives burnt over 30 houses of members of the group and innocent Igbo residents in Imo, Enugu and Ebonyi states in the last one week.

The allegation was contained  in a statement issued by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, adding that the security agents perpetrated the arson in connivance with members of the Ebubeagu security outfit, arguing that it was another form of genocide in the South East.

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