From Okey Sampson, Umuahia
Hoodlums have forced residents of some parts of Abia State to stay at home despite the suspension of the weekly sit-at-home order earlier announced by the leadership of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
IPOB had some weeks back, announced a weekly sit-at-home order that will be in place every Monday until their leader, Nnamdi Kanu was released from detention.
However, last week, the leadership of the pro-Biafra group in what appeared a policy somersault, announced the suspension of the order, citing the ongoing nationwide NECO Examinations and other things as reasons.
Regardless, residents of Umuahia and Aba observed the sit-at-home order.
In Umuahia, the observance was partial as shops at Isi Gate and some other places opened for business.
There were human and vehicular movements as people moved about their normal businesses, although some stayed at home out of the fear of the unknown.
Nonetheless, banks and schools were close as customers and students stayed away, ostensibly over fear of being attacked by hoodlums.
Government offices were opened in obedience to the directive of the state government warning workers against staying away from work. Although only skeletal services were provided in such offices.
However, the story was different in Aba, the commercial hub of the state.
There were reports that hoodlums despite the suspension of the sit-at-home order, came out in their numbers to enforce it.
People who left their homes early for the day’s business, were reportedly harassed and molested by hoodlums who smashed their car windscreen and turned them back home.
At the No. 1 Ngwa Road by Port Harcourt Road, some hoodlums reportedly set burn fire and barricaded the area.
A combined team of soldiers and policemen were said to have arrived on time to disperse the hoodlums.
Although gates of markets in the city were opened, but there were no customers as people stayed away from the markets. Traders who went to market earlier, had to go home as there were no customers.
Banks and schools remained closed, as bus drivers and tricycle operators provided skeletal services.
Many government workers in Aba did not go to work as a result of the activities of the hoodlums.
Unconfirmed report has it that one of the hoodlums harassing and molesting people in the guise of enforcing the non existent sit-at-home order, was shot dead on Port Harcourt Road by security operatives.