Awka – The sit-at-home order by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) today registered total compliance in cities across Anambra State.
The directive which came from the leader of IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, was to honour the memory of soldiers who fought on the side of Biafra during the Nigerian Civil War that lasted from 1967 till 1970’
An outline issued by the IPOB, had said the event will commence with a prayer session on the 30th of May and proceed to the Sit-At-Home on Monday, 31st.
When TNC went round the city of Onitsha and neighbouring towns, it was observed that Markets, banks, motor parks and other commercial places, including schools and government offices, were under lock and key.
There was also total shutdown of the transport system as no single commercial vehicle was in sight.
However, contrary to information by Mazi Kanu, that men of the security arm of the IPOB, Eastern Security Network, (ESN) would be unleashed on the streets to enforce compliance to the order, some motorists attending to emergencies were seen driving along the road without molestation.
Meanwhile there was heavy deployment of a combined team of security personnel who moved round the town.
Speaking to TNC, a businessman who was seen at a popular centre in Awka, Odili Benson, said the decision to use the day to honour the fallen heroes of the Nigerian Civil War is a noble one.
“The idea to observe today as holiday is a noble one because if you do not know who you are, you may not understand what is happening in your life. The Jews till date remember the Holocaust. So as Igbos, the day is important to have a sober reflection on who we are, what happened to us and what do we do to avoid the kind of incident that claimed over 2 million lives during the civil war. Also it is an opportunity to honour the memory of those who fought and defended the land,” he said.
Mr Benson hopes that in the near future, the event will turn to a celebration of sorts that the region will use to teach the younger destination, the sacrifice that was made for them to live.
“If these men didn’t defend the land, we may not be alive today. But for their deaths, we are living today. Almost every family in Igbo land got a share of the dead. So I think the sit at home is the beginning. With time, it will turn to a celebration where drums will be beaten and we mourn these heroes of our land. We can also use the opportunity to teach our children who they are,” Mr Benson posited.