Businesses and other activities remained shut in the South East yesterday in the continued obedience to the suspended sit-at-home order at the instance of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.
Although there was semblance of activities in Owerri, Abakaliki and Umuahia, virtually all towns and cities across the South East were grounded.
Business owners who expressed their desire to open their businesses however lamented the absence of security agents to provide security for them against enforcers of the order.
In Onitsha and Nnewi, residents blasted government and security agents for failing when most needed.
Even with the threat by Anambra State government to sanction markets, park owners, banks and other stakeholders who refused to go back to business, residents chose to stay away from the roads and streets in the two business communities in the state. Markets were closed. Streets were deserted, schools were shut, banks and other businesses were under lock and key.
Leaders of traders accused the Anambra State government of not providing security to ensure the safety of the traders in the markets. There was no presence of the usual military and police checkpoints in all parts of Anambra State yesterday.
From Awka to Nnewi; to Onitsha, there was no single security operative. Even the soldiers that usually cause traffic beside the Governor’s Lodge in Awka and those close to Nnamdi Azikiwe University gate were nowhere to be seen.
Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, in the state, Mr. Tochukwu Ikenga could not give reasons for the absence of security operatives on the roads, but said that the police was determined to provide security in every part of the state.
According to one of the business owners, “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 officer, Army officer or Naval 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 civilians like me without gun that will be courageous to come out.? We see Police, Army, Navy and other security agencies in the past in motor cades 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 the South East is failure of government. They have shown us that they are not in control. This time, they should not blame the Indigenous People of Biafra, 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 motorists and delaying their movements to come out and secure the environment for people 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 nowhere to be found. Is it not a shameful situation?”