Sit-at-home: Residents panic as banks, markets, schools shut down in Owerri  

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Commercial activities were grounded around 12 noon in Owerri, capital of Imo State, on Monday, as many residents hurried home to avert any ugly situation.

Many banks, markets, public and private schools have also shut down in Heartland City, even though no known or ugly incident was recorded at press time.

 The reason for the tension was that some hoodlums were enforcing the sit-at-home order already cancelled by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.

Security operatives later took positions at strategic places like Akwakuma Flyover, Welthral Road by Fire Service, around Control among others to ensure peace.

Many private and public school children had taken advantage of the early-morning transportation to get to school on time before they were asked to go home by their school authorities.

While some schools were not shut, many parents were seen taking their children to avoid any casualty.

Newsmen who monitored the situation, learnt that the state secretariat, Owerri was calm, as civil servants were busy with their job, while most schools in Orji have closed, parents were also taking their kids home.

A resident, Mr Steven Uzechukwu, while reacting to the situation, said “Police fall my hand. This studied silence and lacuna are what triggers speculation and scaremongering”.

“Imo people want to reclaim their Mondays, but this kind of scaremongering will keep people at home next Monday.

“The people need to be reassured. We’ll do our best, but it falls back on the police in the state. I don’t think my kids will go to school on Mondays. It is terrible today.”

Reports said that IPOB ordered the cancellation of the Monday sit-at-home following appeals by Igbo leaders, including Ohaneze Ndigbo, because of the negative impact it was having on the economy of the southeast geopolitical zone.

While a section of IPOB had directed that the sit-at-home should be observed only on days Nnamdi Kanu, its leader, would appear in court, another group insisted that every Monday should be observed as a mark of respect for the IPOB leader until he is released from detention.