Sitting at home: commercial activities return to Anambra, Imo on Monday, shops, streets empty in Abia
Residents of Anambra state have heeded the directive from their governor, Willie Obiano, not to stay indoors on Monday as shops, offices and banks opened for business.
The Biafra Indigenous People (IPOB) had initially declared a stay-at-home day on Monday to show solidarity with the detained leader, Nnamdi Kanu, who is facing charges of treason and others before a high court in Abuja.
But the group later said the order to sit at home should only be enforced on days when Kanu is due to appear in court and not every Monday, as originally prescribed.
However, that hasn’t stopped residents of the Southeast from staying indoors every Monday since the first guideline was given, with business activity on every first working day of the week.
This week, IPOB expects Tuesday’s sit-down order to be enforced in honor of members of the group killed by the Nigerian military in 2017.
However, a resident of Anambra posted on social media that the people were doing their business and using videos and photos to corroborate the report.
The same experience was recorded in the state of Imo when commercial activity returned on Monday morning, unlike a few Mondays from August 9.
Recall that Obiano and his Imo state counterpart, Governor Hope Uzodimma, had insisted that the people of their states disregard the IPOB’s sit-down directive, adding that those behind the order had since withdrawn it.
Obiano therefore ordered commercial activities to take place in the state on Monday (today) and the following Mondays, saying that the government can no longer watch helplessly as the people’s economy plummets.
The secretary of the state government of Anambra, Professor Solo Chukwulobelu, during a meeting with bank executives in Awka, urged them to operate fully statewide every working day.
The Commissioner for Information and Public Lighting, Mr C. Don Adinuba, stressed on Sunday that the directive also affects other sectors of people’s socio-economic life.
According to him, all markets, as well as motor fleets and commercial vehicles, would henceforth be fully operational every Monday and every other weekday, except for every day declared work-free by the competent authorities.
Adinuba said: “Before Governor Willie Obiano presided over a meeting with security chiefs and bank executives in the state, including those of the Awka branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria, he had personally had frank and rewarding discussions with a large number of leaders. from the Transport Union and Market Association in Anambra State on why they had closed their business every Monday for the past five weeks.
“For example, the transporters attributed their action to commuters’ inability to come for regular business for fear of being attacked by unknown gunmen, while traders explained that it was difficult to keep the day’s proceeds in without opening one day. . a safe place. The bankers, for their part, argued that there was no need to open their doors to the public if the markets did not open and people could go about their normal business.
However, it could not be determined whether it was the governor’s directive that caused people to come out on Monday.
A source said: “Sitting at home has collapsed in Anambra. Could it be that they are tired? Hungry? Or the governor’s order? I don’t know about other states in the Southeast, but the state of Abia is not at home today. For those who scream lies, this BBC is new live from 8am this morning. Accept the fact that people are tired and hungry now.”
However, the seriousness of the current boycott of the sit-at-home directive was to be weighed on Tuesday as the separatist group is once again sitting at home in memory of the people killed on September 17, 2017 on the property of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, near Afaraukwu Ibeku Umuahia, Abia state.
Likewise, residents of Imo state began their usual day-to-day business activities on Monday.
As vehicles flooded the roads, businesses, fast food centers, artisans, roadside merchants, supermarkets and mobile food vendors were also allowed to roam freely.
While businesses in key markets were not at their peak, a reasonable percentage of buying and selling tended to take place in all local government areas of the state, just as commercial motorcyclists transported passengers to their various destinations without any problems.
In Owerri, the state capital, Wetheral, Douglas, Tetlow, Onitsha, Port Harcourt, Okigwe, Mbaise, Aba and Orlu were relatively busy.
However, some fear-ridden “sensitive” institutions, such as public banks and private schools, fearing a possible invasion by gangsters, did not open to customers or students and apprentices.
The case was not much different in the state of Abia, where traders were absent from markets and some other commercial places in the state.
The state government had pleaded with market and motorcycle union leaders to open up to activities and threatened to shut down those who disobeyed the directive.
The government also instructed security officers to provide safety at suspected fires and to patrol the roads.
However, there are reports from some quarters that the gates of major markets in the state, such as the Ariaria International, Ekeoha, Cemetery, among others, were open, but no merchants and customers were seen.
Banks, gas stations and other business centers did not open, but government offices were open.
Motorcycle parks were also abandoned.