Despite the suspension of the sit-at-home order by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), every Monday in solidarity with its arrested leader, Nnamdi Kanu, Commercial banks, shops were shut down and residents of Awka and Onitsha stayed indoors.
IPOB, through its Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, had, two days ago, called off the sit-at-home order following wide consultations.
He said the exercise would henceforth hold only on days its leader, Kanu would be appearing in court.
However, it was discovered that all banks, some supermarkets, shops and other businesses were shut.
As of 10 am, markets in Onitsha, Nnewi and Awka, the state capital were still empty as only a few traders had come to the market.
All the intercity parks in Awka, some roads and streets were deserted, while some shops were under lock and key.
A resident, who identified himself as Philip Uche, said he stayed indoors because he didn’t believe the suspension of the order was true.
He said, “I heard over the Radio Biafra that there was nothing like suspension of the sit-at-home.
“We are not happy if it’s true. We want it to continue till Kanu is released,” he said.
A trader in Onitsha main market, Emeka Ezenwata, said, “The market opens at 7 am every morning, and usually, on a Monday, after a long weekend, traders want to come to their shops, and that means that as early as 6 am, most traders are already waiting for market officials to open their shops, so they can go to work.
“But today, it is already 8 am, and the markets are already open, but only a few traders have arrived.
“As I was coming to market from Fegge where I live, I found the whole street scanty, unlike what used to happen on Monday mornings when there is usually a rush.”
Some residents in Awka, who spoke to our correspondent, said the news of the suspension was not widely circulated.
A trader at the popular Aroma, Mr Tony Nwankeo, said: “I didn’t plan to go out today because of the sit-at-home. I’m just hearing it from you that it has just been suspended.”
Another resident in Awka, Mr Ignatus Nwaora, said; “if the suspension was true as announce by Radio Biafra, then IPOB should extent the announcement through town carriers, local radio stations and advert in Newspapers.
“A lot of traders in Eke-Awka market did not open shops because the suspension information did not get to them on time.
Government too has to be blamed for not providing security on the streets and roads this morning to boost people’s confidence to go out without fears”.