Life and commercial activities in villages and major cities of Onitsha, Awka, Ogidi, Obosi, Nkpor, Nnewi, Nnewi, Ekwulobia, Uga, Umunze and Agulu were brought to a standstill yesterday, May 30 in commemoration of the sit-at-home call by the various pro-Biafra groups to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the declaration of the republic.
Driven by the two major pro-Biafra groups, -the Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB) and the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra(MASSOB), had directed that the order was to also honour those heroes who died during the Biafra Civil War.
The call registered and witnessed a near total compliance with all Markets, banks, schools, fuel stations, transport companies and even some arms of governments shutting down business activities for the day completely.
Onitsha, just as witnessed in Awka, all major markets were under locks and traders as well as residents desiring to move from one location to another were either stranded or had to jettison the appointment as vehicles were all off the roads.
Most of the private vehicles on the roads were observed to be on essential duties or emergencies.
And unlike last years’ experience where they assembled at a church at Nkpor with a Bishop for solemn prayers and were invaded by armed security agents who shot at close range killing more than 30, there was no MASSOB or IPOB members in sight anywhere trying to enforce, harass or intimidate anyone into compliance.
Al the major motor parks at Nkpor, Awka, Nnewi and the popular Upper Iweka were completely deserted, just as human presence was also limited.
Not even the ubiquitous street hawkers were seen anywhere, while armed and fierce looking security agents were seen at key flash-points idling away.
However, people started milling around their local neighborhoods late afternoon when the tempo and tension appeared lowered.
That was when fuel stations and street corner shops began to open with observable caution.
By Chuks Collins, Awka