August 18, 2022

Reporters’ Diary

Factual Reportage

Onitsha residents, traders vow to resist further sit-at-home order

Traders and residents of the commercial town of Onitsha have vowed to resist any form of strangulation of their businesses in the guise of sit-at-home by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Some of the traders interviewed said they were tired of staying at home on Mondays and other subsequent days.

Yesterday, in Onitsha traders, artisans and food sellers trooped out from their homes as early as 5:30 am which caused troop out on the roads including commercial vehicles in an attempt to cover the lost two days (Monday and Tuesday) that were declared sit-at-home by an alleged section of IPOB.

However, spokesman of IPOB, Emma Powerful has distanced the group on the continued obedience to sit-at-home order.The IPOB spokesman in a release to the press yesterday said that IPOB had suspended the Monday sit-at-home as it was having adverse effect on innocent Biafrans it was meant to protect.

He disclosed that any person or group working to effect any further sit-at-home on Mondays was an enemy of IPOB and the people of Biafra and urged people of the South East Region to disregard any further threat to shun their businesses on Mondays.

Last Monday despite the threat on business leaders, banks, markets among others to open their markets and offices on Monday, no bank was, however, open for business for fear of the unknown.

However, when our correspondent visited Ogbaru Main Market, the gates of the market were flung open, but customers were not forthcoming.

Chief Ndubuisi Ochiogu, Chairman of the market was seen busy inspecting a water project embarked upon by his administration.

He told our correspondent that in compliance with Gov. Willie Obiano’s directive to market leaders to open their markets for businesses compelled him and other members of his executives to open the market with heavy presence of market vigilante personnel.

He, however, lamented that no customer was forthcoming to patronize a few traders that opened their shops for business.

Chief Ochiogu assured that from next Monday normal business activities would begin in the market in full compliance of the Governor’s directive. DPO, Fegge Police Division, CSP Rabiu Garba was seen in Police Patrol vehicle in company of other policemen patrolling the streets in readiness for any eventuality or threat to public peace.

Moreover, Onitsha was relatively calm and peaceful on Wednesday as residents moved about their normal businesses wishing that Monday sit-at-home would not continue as it has dwindled their savings and unleashed hardship on the people who have been impoverished by rising cost of living in Nigeria.