• Monday, May 27, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Aba residents comply strictly to IPOB’s sit-at-home order

Aba traders

Commercial activities were paralised in Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State, Thursday, October 1, 2020, as business operators and other residents complied fully with the sit-at-home order of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

IPOB explained that the essence of the sit-at-home order is to let the world know how disastrously intolerable human existence is in Nigeria, today.

The Pro-Biafra group also said that the sit-at-home is also in solidarity with agitators for Oduduwa Republic in the Old Western Region of Nigeria.

Prior to the sit-at-home order on October 1, 2020, a joint press release by Chika Edoziem, Head, Directorate of State of IPOB, and Sina Okanlomo, International general secretary of Yoruba One Voice (YOV), urged everyone, who is not happy with the situation in Nigeria to stay away from Nigeria’s 60th Independence Day celebration.

“Stay away from participation and involvement in any sham or nebulous October 1, 2020; 60th independence anniversary activities, as may be mounted by the Unitary Government of Nigeria.

“In specific terms, we hereby call on the peoples of our territories, and indeed all peoples of Nigeria yearning to be free from internal colonization to be prepared to Stay-At-Home on October 1, 2020.

“No one among us should play along with any celebration of 60 years of an imbalanced unequal country. Staying-At-Home means keeping safe and away for the inhuman and inhumane character of the present regime of Major General Buhari”, the release reads in part.

Consequently, this is the first Independence Day celebration in recent times, where markets, malls, shops, and even streets trading was completely avoided, by Aba residents

Major markets in the ever-busy commercial city of Aba like Ekeoha Shopping Centre, Ariaria International Market, Ahia-Ohuru, and the Cemetery Market, were all deserted as no buyer or seller was seen around the markets, as business activities were completely crippled.

At Ekeoha Shopping Centre located in the heart of Aba, major entrances into the market were left open, by the market leadership, but no one was seen around to buy or sell anything.

The situation was the same at the Ariaria International Market, Eziukwu Market and Ahia-Ohuru (Ngwa Road Market).

On why the markets were left open without sellers and buyers, a source, who preferred anonymity revealed that the State Government forced all market Chairmen to open the markets.

Eke Steven, a trader at Ekeoha Shopping Centre, corroborated the statement of our source and said, “You know Chairmen of all the markets in Abia State, were appointed by the government.
“We heard that they were warned on Tuesday, by officials of the State Government, to open all markets, but as you can see, even the market executives that opened the markets are nowhere to be found.

“Nobody in Aba will ever sell or buy anything today. The State government is only trying to show the Federal Government that they’re in charge, but IPOB owns the town.

“I knew the situation will be like this, but I only came out to see things myself. Nobody is happy about the situation in Nigeria. We want our freedom like today, not even tomorrow.”

BusinessDay checks on street markets, like Jubilee Road spare parts market, Saint Michael’s Road Phone and Computer Accessories market, Ama-Ogbonna Foodstuffs Market, Ahia-Udele, Alaoji Spare Parts Market revealed that they were all locked up.

Other Markets visited are: Railway Halt Foodstuffs and Grocery Market, Old Court Chicken and Chemical Market, Nsulu Goat Market, Akwette Clothing and Cotton Market, Umuihelegbu Industrial Market, Bakassi Market, and Aba North Shoe Plaza and the story are the same.

Major Motor Parks had no business to do, as passengers and travelers were nowhere to be found. The ever-busy Aba to Port Harcourt, Aba to Owerri, Aba to Enugu, and Aba to Onitsha routes, were completely free with zero vehicular movements between the cities.