Despite assurances of safety of lives and property of residents and visitors to the state by heads of various security agencies in Abia State, residents, traders, private and government workers in Aba, the commercial nerve of the State on Friday stayed away from their shops and offices as the Indigenous People of Biafra ( IPOB ) hold sit-at-home across the southeast states.
A release by the spokesman of the secessionist group, Emma Powerful had urged the people to stay away from their offices and shops in honour of their late colleagues who were murdered in Afaraukwu, the country home of their leader and Director of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu by soldiers.
Our correspondent who monitored compliance to the sit-at-home order by the IPOB, reports that while there was compliance to the order in Aba, it was business as usual in Umuahia, the state capital as the people were seen going about their businesses without any harassment by anybody.
According to our reporter, while the gates of major markets in Aba including Ariaria International market, Cemetery, Shopping Plaza, Ahia Ohuru, Bakassi among others were open, traders however stayed away from their shops.
While some commercial banks at the time of this report were running skeletal services, some of the staff interviewed disclosed that they were open for business because they didn’t get official memo from their headquarters directing them to stay away from work today. Offices, shops along Okigwe, Azikiwe, kent, Market, Aba-Owerri roads respectively were however devoid of their usual hustling and bubbling.
Police patrol vans were spotted stationed at Sameck by Faulks, Market road by Shopping Center and other strategic places in the commercial city.
In a chat with a senior police officer in Abia State Police Command who pleaded not to be mentioned said that they were stationed at various flash points in Aba and other parts of the state in order to forestall any breakdown of law and order by any group of person who would want to capitalized on the IPOB sit-at-home to foment troubles or stop citizens of the state from going to their normal duties.
Some members of the pro-Biafra group members who spoke to our reporter thanked the people and residents of Aba for complying with the orders of the group.
The respondents, including Ifeanyi Okafor described the day as a day of sober reflection and also used the opportunity to call on world bodies including the United Nations to investigate the killings in Afaraukwu in 2017 by soldiers.
Okafor said that no amount of intimidation from the federal government and security agencies would deter them from continuing with the peaceful agitation for the sovereign State of Biafra.