BY Matthias Nwogu, Umuahia
Commercial and social activities were completely paralysed in Abia State yesterday, as the residents observed the sit at home order by the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) in honour of the fallen heroes of the Nigeria Civil War and commemoration of the 50 Years Anniversary of the declaration of defunct State of Biafra.
In Umuahia and Aba, the major cities of Abia State monitored by LEADERSHIP , compliance was total as banks, filling stations, schools, markets and motor parks were all closed for business. The exercise was also peaceful as there was no violence or picketing by IPOB for compliance.
The Ariaria International Market Aba which is the largest market in the state and one of the largest in West Africa, was closed. No traders were seen loitering around as they all remained at home.
The same applied to New Market , Cemetery and Eke Oha Shopping Centre. Private shops along the streets were also under lock and key, which a bystander along St Michael’s road said was the first of its kind in the commercial city.
The Aba Main Park , where commercial vehicles for travelers commuting to all parts of the country was closed. The Milverton Avenue Luxury Buses Loading point was also closed withonly a few passengers who were not aware of the order loitering around waiting for the order to elapse at about 12noon, while those who could make it back home postponed their journey till the next day.
The streets of Aba and Umuahia were also deserted with only few young men seen sitting down in groups discussing or loitering around aimlessly. Others were seen playing football in the empty streets this was even as those who came out to make purchases or other transactions had to trek home as there were no tricycles to convey them home.
The streets of Aba were also free of security personnel as there were no violent activities to attract their attention at the time LEADERSHIP visited.