Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
There was fear and anxiety in Onitsha, the commercial hub of Anambra State, over the sit-at-home order declared by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to honour the Biafran heroes who died during the civil war and those who died in the cause of the struggle for the restoration of Biafra state.
The IPOB had insisted that there was no going back on the call to remain indoors as they marched through the major streets and roads of Onitsha, on Monday, instilling fear on the residents and traders who thought the order wasn’t serious based on the proscription of the group by the government last year.
The Daily Sun gathered that the Onitsha main market was filled up to the capacity with traders rushing to make last minute purchases due to fear of what might happen based on sit-at-home directive.
A market leader in Anambra State, but who does not want to be mentioned, told our Correspondent that the markets in the state would be opened for business despite the call to stay at home, saying that the pro-Biafra group should continue with their activities to mark the anniversary and allow others to go about their normal businesses.
According to him, “We are going to open our markets and traders should go and opened their shops for business.
“There is no way pro-Biafra group should force us to close our businesses because they are doing anniversary. They should continue with their programme and if anybody want to join them, he or she is free to do so but not by force.
“We don’t want people to suffer hardship because of Biafra anniversary celebration to shut down everywhere, it is not wise and we are going to open markets”.
A trader, Mr. John Nwokedi, said that he would not come out on Wednesdy due to fear of the unknown as well as the past experiences where some hoodlums had seized the opportunity to loot and attack people who opened their shops for business.
According to Nwokedi, “Even if they opened the market I will not go to the market because anything can happen. In the past thieves and area boys were moving around attacking and looting people’s goods who opened their shops.
“I know that nothing may not happen tomorrow (Wednesday) but am afraid to open my shop. When the boys will attack you nobody will come out to help you even the security agents and you will be the one to loss and regret it”.
A commercial driver, Mr. Emeka Odim, appealed to the people of Biafra to remain indoors to honour the dead who fought for their liberation, saying that Biafra is for every Igbo man who should obey every order from the leaders of the pro-Biafra groups.
“I’m going to obey the sit-at-home order, am not going to bring my vehicle out tomorrow (today) because I am a Biafran and I believe in civil disobedience to tell our leaders in this country that we are not one and they should allow us to go. We must honour those people Nigeria security agents killed in the struggle. So, anybody that go come out today is an enemy of Biafra and saboteur,” Odim stated.