As the sit-at-home in the Southeast goes into the third day, residents of Anambra State are already groaning over the hardship it is causing them and their inability to access social services.
Last week, the Indigenous People of Biafra, announced a total lockdown in the region for Tuesday, 18th January, in solidarity with its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu whose trial resumes at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
This is in addition to the usual Monday sit-at-home, which was observed seriously with the commencement of enforcement early this year.
Kanu’s trial was however adjourned to Wednesday, following the Federal Government’s amendment of charges against the IPOB leader and Kanu’s lead counsel’s application to be granted more time to confer with him on the development.
Subsequently, the sit-at-home was extended to Wednesday.
From Awka, Anambra State Capital to Onitsha, the Commercial hub of the Southeast, everywhere was shut down.
A visit to the Onitsha bridgehead, showed countless heavy-duty trucks stranded at the Asaba end of the bridge, waiting for the sit-at-home to abate before moving into the state, en route to other parts of the region.
Speaking on the development, a concerned citizen, Michael Okoye blamed the Igbo leaders and intelligentsia for allowing the ugly incident to persist, regretting that the Southeast is gradually becoming a ghost of itself due to the problem.
“It is so pathetic that the Igbo intelligentsia seems to be looking the other way while the Southeast is burning, going down on a daily basis.
“For the third consecutive day, the banks and schools are shut down, just as the businesses.
“The commerce that we are known for is gradually going down. Let us change these tactics, it is not working.
“This one is that if you open your shop, some rascals will invade and burn your shop, loot things and even kill you. Who are we maltreating with these attitudes?
“The same people you claim to be fighting for their future and those of their children, are the same people you are killing and destroying their means of livelihood.
“I think some people are using these tactics to kill our economy and our people are playing willfully to their game,” he said.
Okoye said people of the Southeast need to rise up and say no to the brainwashing and fight for their land and values.
According to him, most of the people sponsoring the agitations live abroad where they do not observe the sit-at-home.
A businessman, Dozie Egbejiogu, was particular about the additional cost, the numerous trucks stranded at the Southeast borders will incur for the traders and how negatively the sit-at-home has impacted the Southeast economy.
He also said the Southeast is gradually losing its place as the commercial hub of the country.
“The closest city to Onitsha, the commercial hub of the Southeast, is Asaba and most of the businessmen are fast leaving Onitsha because they are no longer comfortable with the situation in Onitsha.
“A week with five working days has now been shortened by the IPOB.
“Customers are no more coming to buy goods in the Southeast.
“The demurrage which the trucks at the border-states incur for businessmen will eventually be added to the
cost of products and the common man will find them unaffordable.
“I want our people to see the damage we are doing to ourselves, our economy and our society, and we cannot say we do not know.
“Unless we rise to the occasion and stop this nonsense, our people will continue to suffer and before we know it, we would have lost the commerce for which we are known,” he lamented.
For a young school leaver, Adaolisa Nweke, the sit-at-home is affecting the people badly, with hoodlums taking advantage of it to attack citizens.
She noted that a greater percentage of the society is very poor people who depend on their daily activities to feed themselves and their families.
These people, she said, have found it very difficult to feed in the past few days.
“It is obvious that this sit-at-home is not working and we should find something else.
“Since we have been suffering ourselves, what have we achieved?
“We have only subjected ourselves to greater suffering, even more than those we claim we have been subjected to by the so-called oppressors,” she said.