From Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
The Monday 31st May declared Sit-at- Home by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) recorded total compliance in Onitsha and environs.
The bustling commercial activities and vehicular traffic often witnessed on Mondays were absent as major roads and markets were deserted and shut.
Banks, petrol filling stations, shopping malls, schools and roadside stalls were all closed.
Even food markets like Ochanja that normally opens on Sundays and other days like this also remained closed.
A lone drive by the reporter across different parts of Onitsha city including other satellite towns like Nkpor, Ogidi, Nkwele Ezunaka and Oba showed that all bustling activities were shut down.
The Onitsha Main Market, Nkpor New Tyre and New Parts markets including the larger International Building Materials Market in Ogidi all looked like ghost towns as the entrance gates were not only locked while no single person was sighted loitering around.
Even heavy duty vehicles and containers that normally offload their goods in such markets on Mondays were also missing.
The situation were the same both in Old Motor Spare Parts Market (Mgbuke) Obosi and Nkpor.
The major roads in Onitsha were devoid of any vehicular movement which prompted various youths to convert the roads into football pitches as they played soccer.
The luxurious bus parks at Upper Iweka and other loading bays and bus terminal of all the renowned transport companies were also deserted.
At the Bridge Head, no vehicle was seen entering Onitsha while some stranded travellers were seeing with their luggage trekking across the bridge.
There was no single police presence on the road within Onitsha and environs visited by the reporter.
Armed soldiers were seen standing at strategic locations within the bridge head while those trekking were commanded to raise their hands up while crossing the area.
Residents and traders engaged in drinking spree in various houses while some contributed money to feast on chicken peppersoup among other merriment.
Newspaper vendors were also absent as major news outlets at Onitsha Old Market Road were empty while children played on top of the newsstands.
A respondent, Kenneth Okeke told the reporter that most residents choose to stay at home to avoid any harm or suffering of losses in the hands of hoodlums who may catch on the situation to rob people.
President General, Bridgehead Market, Chief Sunday Obinze when contacted said the entire markets in the area were shut because security of the traders cannot be guaranteed based on the prevailing insecurity situation in the southeast.
His counterpart at the Ogidi Building Materials Market, Chief Jude Nwankwo said they closed the market because there is climate of fear in the land.
He wondered the fate of the ordinary traders in a situation where even trained law enforcement agents now move in plain clothes hiding their identities.
Chairman of Onitsha Main market, Kenneth Onyeka Kenbigger said the closure of markets has its merits too.
He said traders had the opportunity to rest more and also do proper self evaluation over the state of the nation Nigeria.