The sit at home called by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) flopped in Enugu yesterday as residents went about their normal daily activities unmolested.
While The Guardian drove round the Enugu metropolis, non-compliance was witnessed with business activities in operation and major roads locked in traffic.
Banks, schools, government offices as well as some other private institutions were all in full operation.
However, the situation was a bit different at some of the markets visited. This includes the Main Market, Newmarket and Timber market, as most of the shops remained under lock and key.
Although the entrances to these markets were wide open, most of the traders did not open for the day’s business, apparently in compliance with the order.
The poor compliance by residents is being blamed on the call by a faction of MASSOB led by Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo among others who asked Ndigbo to defy the sit-at-home order.
This might not be unconnected with the security arrangement by the state government and the security agencies that assured the people to disregard the order and go about their businesses.
Police personnel had been deployed from Thursday night in various parts of the state, even as the Joint Security Patrol, comprising the Army, Police, DSS, Airforce, continued in their operation show force in the state.
The IPOB had earlier written to various unions, associations in the states and local government council areas in the South-East, to shut down businesses and other activities. It also posted notice of the sit-at-home order in strategic locations across the zone.
Both private and public vehicles were in large numbers on the roads going about their normal businesses.
At Agbani road, Ogui road, Trans-Ekulu and Abakpa Nike Market axis, there was heavy traffic as people experienced difficulties going to their work and business places.
A trader at New Market, Uchenna Ugwu told the Guardian, that the IPOB had deceived them a lot, stressing that the “sit-at-home order has not improved our welfare as Igbo people”
Ugwu, said, “It is a voluntary thing. Since most people want to remain in their homes, for me, I want to do my business as much as nobody will force me into not doing it.
“My children are returning to school on Monday. I don’t think they will listen to me if I tell them that I am in the house in sympathy with IPOB. That certainly will not put food on my table”, he said.
Meanwhile, the IPOB yesterday alleged a “bribery scheme” designed to compromise the integrity of Journalists covering the sit-at-home it called in the South-east and South-South geopolitical zones of the country.
A statement by the Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, alleged that media houses were inundated with calls from representatives of governments in the zones to blackout the story as well as report falsehood.
He said: “Huge sums of money has been promised to journalists of all newspaper houses not to issue even an interim report on the sit-at-home because it recorded over 90% compliance.
“Thankfully most of the journalists contacted said they will not be swayed by any brown envelope. They pledged to report the truth accurately in line with the ethics of their profession. We commend them for their courage.”
He said, “Abia, Imo, Anambra, Rivers recorded total compliance. Delta, Bayelsa, Enugu and Ebonyi recorded 85% compliance with Enugu capital city and Abakaliki with skeletal human presence, most of which are government staff. In all the states, all markets were closed for the day. Reports are awaited from Cross River and Akwa Ibom.”