Onitsha, the commercial city, and Nnewi, the industrial town, of Anambra State were totally lockdown on Monday, as residents continue to observe the Monday weekly sit-at-home, long suspended by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.
Even with the threat by Anambra State government to sanction markets, park owners, banks and other stakeholders, who refuse to go back to business, people chose to stay away from the roads and streets in the two business communities in the state.
Markets, banks and government institutions like hospitals and school were shut down as workers in the establishments remained at home.
Commercial vehicles and tricycle operators withdrew their services as they deserted the roads with no passengers seen to patronize their services.
Meanwhile, there is anger by leaders of traders who accused the Anambra State government of not providing security to assure the safety of the traders to go back to markets.
Even as streets shop owners and artisans refused to open their shops.
Some of the people, particularly market union leaders, spoke with Vanguard on condition of anonymity for fear of government sanction.
They said that they were ready to go back to the markets and their businesses, but regretted that security has not been provided to secure their lives and businesses by both government and security agents.
According to one of the stakeholders, “we have 302 Artillery Regiment, we have Naval Outpost and Police Area Commands and Divisional Police Stations in Onitsha and Nnewi.
“Yet, you cannot see a single Police Army, or Navy officer on any road or street parading in their vehicles to reassure people of their safety and you want them to come out?
“If Police, Army, Navy and other security agents are afraid to come out on the streets and roads in Anambra State, is it a civilian like me without a gun that will be courageous to come out?
“We see Police, Army, Navy and other security agencies in the past in motorcades parading the roads and streets in what they call ‘Show of force’.
“And now that it is the appropriate time to show the force, they are no where to be found.
“What is happening in Anambra State in particular and South-East in general is failure of government; they have shown us that they are not in control.
“This time they should not blame IPOB for the continued observation of sit-at-home in South-East.
“The blame should go to South-East governors who have done nothing as a group and as individuals to secure the people.
“This is the time the people expected them to come up with their Ebubeagu security outfit.
“And the Police, Army, Navy that have been mounting checkpoints collecting money from motorist and delaying their movements to come out and secure the environments for people to come out, but they are hiding.
“From tomorrow, being Tuesday, they will come out from their hiding stations and barracks to the roads to collect money from Tuesday to Sunday and delay people’s movement.
“But today they are no where to be found. Is it not shameful situation.”
A section of the ever busy, but deserted, dual carriage Onitsha-Enugu Expressway, leading to New Motor Spare Parts, Nkpor, Anambra State, on Monday.