The weekly sit-at-home being enforced in some parts of the South East again on Monday paralysed activities in some parts of Enugu, Imo and Anambra States.
In Enugu, unidentified gunmen invaded a motor park and reportedly killed a passenger in a Sienna car and burnt the vehicle.
The gunmen also reportedly shot another person said to be standing around the park and disrupted early morning activities. The hoodlums, who stormed the park with a bus, were said to have chased away people who came out to board vehicles to travel to various parts of the country.
The incident, which happened at Chris Chemist in the morning, forced businesses to shut down, while commuters hurriedly retired to their various homes.
“They (hoodlums) set ablaze the Sienna car. They attempted to set ablaze another vehicle before the owner reportedly ran away with it,” a source told one of our correspondents.
A neighbourhood watch personnel said the incident happened around 6am.
“As I speak to you, there is tension everywhere. Holy Ghost, Main Market, Old Park and other major markets are ghost places now as people have deserted the areas. The attackers burnt a Sienna car and I learnt they killed the driver, later confirmed to be a passenger.
“The Enugu North Local Government Chairman alerted us this morning about the development. He called the local security outfit, which includes the neighbourhood watch and forest guard personnel, to come out and ensure security,” he stated.
Efforts to get the reaction of the state Police Public Relations Officer, Daniel Ndukwe, were not successful as he did not take his calls as of the time of filing this report.
Roads, shops deserted in Onitsha, Nnewi
Markets, motor parks, banks, offices and filling stations remained closed on Monday in major cities of Anambra State such as Onitsha, Nnewi, Oba, and Obosi.
This was in compliance with the Monday sit-at-home order by the Indigenous People of Biafra.
The few tricycle operators, who took the risk to operate on Mondays before now, stayed off the road as some hoodlums had threatened them.
This is despite the directive by the state governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo,that full activities should now commence every Monday.
The governor and some stakeholders in the state, including traditional rulers and some clerics, had met and fixed last Monday as a prayer session to herald the cancellation of the IPOB sit-at-home order.
Our correspondent, who monitored the development, observed that most shops owners on the streets of Onitsha, the commercial centre of the state, including food vendors, also stayed away, as they did not open for transaction.
Some of the traders claimed that the hoodlums had gone round the area over the weekend, warning them against opening their shops on Monday.
The situation was not different in Nnewi, another commercial hub of the state, as major markets did not open for commercial activities, as some of the traders gathered in different groups and discussed matters of interest.
One of them, identified as Kenechi, a spare part dealer, blamed the government for not providing adequate security.
Although the state police spokesman, Ikenga Tochukwu, had assured residents of adequate security, no presence of security agents was sighted at strategic locations.
Owerri deserted as residents stay indoors
Owerri, the Imo state capital, was a shadow of itself on Monday as it was totally deserted.
Banks, shops, schools, marketplaces and other offices were shut.
From Okigwe Road to the Imo State University junction, and other areas such as Ikenegbu, Mbari, Wetheral, Douglas, Teltlow, Bank Road, Government House Roundabout, Orlu Road to MCC, the streets were literally abandoned.
Government House offices, especially, the Internally Generated Revenue office, situated on the Owerri- Okigwe Road, was also deserted.
The Peace Mass Transport Office at Orji Flyover, Imo Transport Company park at the MMC Road, and the other major parks along the Egbu Road, were closed for business.
Relief market, Umuonyeali and Naze word markets, Ekeukwu Owerri, and other markets like Orji , Amakaohia and Akwuakuma were also shut. (PUNCH)