Despite Anambra State Government’s warning that Mondays are not work free days in the state, government offices, banks and business premises were on Monday shut down across the state.
It was gathered that a video of the heavily-armed pro-Biafra group, had surfaced late Sunday, warning Southeast residents to disregard the directive by government and stay indoors every Monday, until the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is released from the custody of the DSS.
The group had also threatened to deal with market leaders, government officials and community leaders who flout the sit-at-home order.
TNC Correspondent who monitored compliance with the state government directive today, reports that while business premises and some markets were partially opened to business, the State Secretariat, housing all government Ministries, was deserted.
All the banks along the Onitsha-Awka expressway were also closed and customers turned bank.
A security personnel with one of the banks, said the order to shut down was from the management, alleging that there was a counter-directive concerning the cancellation of the sit-at-home order by IPOB.
He said the threat is real and they do not trust the security agencies to protect them, hence their decision to close for business.
“Our operations manager came here in the money and monitored other banks and found out that everybody was closed.
Ours cannot be different.
“If anything happens, we are responsible for our security as the security agencies cannot come to our rescue until everything has happened,” he said.
An elder statesman, Kennedy Okoli who could not do some transactions he came for at the bank, said although he does not approve the Federal Government’s disposition towards the Southeast region, he does not equally approve some of the measures taken to find redress.
According to him, the region is gradually losing its business and commerce potentials, all in the name of getting back at the Federal Government.
“I think it is a case of one shooting one’s self in the leg.
“There is no other person that suffers this directly if not our people.
“Even if the threat of violence eventually leads to war, we will be the greatest casualty because the war will be fought on our land.
“Those of us who witnessed the war know what we suffered and do not wish for a recurrence of such experience.
“Our people must remember that everything here was built through self-help efforts and we must resist any attempt to bring a situation that will destroy those things.
“That is why I advise a better approach to this perceived grievances and ill-treatment towards Igbos,” he said.
A resident, Chimezie Okafor who noted that the originator of the lockdown, the IPOB had distanced itself from the continued sit-at-home, suggested that confidence-building is required to encourage the people to come out and do their normal businesses.
He said the militarization of the region is also a factor driving the people’s involuntary sentiments towards the sit-at-home order.
Okafor noted that the sit-at-home was a diplomatic response to the development where security agents shot at peaceful protesters, saying the people now resolved to stay at home to register their grievances.
“If the people had taken to sit-at-home as an alternative to public protests, then there is the need for the security agencies to have a rethink in the way they deal with our people.
“Unfortunately, we still see a situation where people are forced to come down from their vehicles and walk far distances with their hands in the air as if we are in a crisis zone.
“This is in addition to other inhuman dispositions against the people.
“So, let the security agencies understand that they have to change the approach if the people will start seeing them as friends, not enemies,” he suggested.