Owerri, the Imo State capital yesterday turned to a ghost town as the residents complied with the sit-at-home order of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The situation was the same in Orlu and Okigwe senatorial zones of the state. Public places such as the state secretariat, banks, markets, motor parks, schools, business districts were under lock and key.
A visit to the state secretariat showed that civil servants simply came to sign in and left for safety reasons as people chose to stay indoors, a situation that left the place deserted.
A visit to World Bank Market, Eke-Ukwu/Douglas Market, and Amakohia Market was met with scanty people, only brave hearted traders showed up for business activities though with only one door of their shops open, for fear of attack.
The World Bank Motor Park which usually had almost all vehicles loading to different destinations had only three vehicles, while motor park touts were nowhere in sight.
Vehicular movement was almost zero as very few vehicles were on the road as many people chose to park theirs for fear of attack.
A trader, Mrs Chinwe Ugwu told LEADERSHIP that compared to last week, her decision to operate was a mistake saying she had not sold up to N2000 worth of foodstuffs at about 3pm.
She said, “I thought I could make brisk sales but you won’t believe that I have not sold up to N2000 goods as against before I would be counting about N15,000. Am even scared to head home now for my own safety. People are not coming out to buy as before”, Ugwu said.
A student of Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Philip said he damned the odds to be in school to read, saying classrooms were deserted. Primary and secondary schools were under lock and key while private schools directed their pupils and students to stay home.
The Government House and environs was a shadow of itself as the whole place was deserted despite repeated warnings by Governor Hope Uzodimma that people should ignore the sit-at-home order.
The spokesperson for the IPOB, Emma Powerful, had announced suspension of the sit-at-home order last month except days their leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu was to appear in court.
However, some yet to be identified gunmen last Monday marched through some streets shooting and warned people to go home in compliance with the order.