For the fourth Monday in a row, streets, markets, banks, schools, motor parks and other public offices were Monday shut down in Anambra State, in observance of a sit-at-home order already called off by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
IPOB had a month ago called for the shutdown of the South-east economy every Monday, in solidarity with its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, who is being detained by the federal government and undergoing trial.
After the first Monday of the exercise, which was adjudged to have been wholly complied with, the group suspended the exercise, following a wide outcry by the people on the danger it portends for the South-east economy. The group said the exercise would only hold on days when Kanu would be going to court.
But three Mondays since its suspension, cities in the South-east, especially in Anambra State, have continued to observe the exercise.
In Onitsha, Nnewi and Awka Monday, THISDAY, which went round the towns, observed that markets, streets and motor parks were all deserted. Banks and other public offices were also shut down.
The spokesperson of IPOB, Mr Emma Powerful, had in previous weeks, said that the group would no longer enforce the sit-at-home directive, but would urge anyone who wants to observe it to do so, adding that the order to call off the exercise was communicated by Kanu from prison.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Anambra State Command has denied the rumour making the rounds that its personnel were Monday attacked in the state, stating that the rumour was unfounded.
The command was reacting to a video circulating on social media, in which gunmen suspected to be secessionists attacked a van carrying Civil Defence personnel, killing one person and setting ablaze the command’s patrol van, which had the inscription – donated by Anambra State Government.
The command’s spokesperson, Mr Edwin Okadigbo, in a press release said no patrol van belonging to the command was missing or damaged, while calling on the people of the state to disregard the rumour.
He said: “The attention of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) Anambra State Command has been drawn to a video circulation in social media insinuating that Civil Defence officers and vehicle were attacked on Monday 30th of August 2021 at Nenyi, Umueri in Anambra East LGA.
“We wish to state that there is no iota of truth in the video in circulation. All NSCDC facilities in Anambra State are safe and calm. In addition, all operational vehicles in the state deployed for an assignment are without any untoward incident today.
“This is purely the handwork of crises merchants and mischief makers who want to create panic and fear in the minds of Anambrarians and residents alike. The command with other sister security agencies are working in synergy to ensure that security situation in Anambra State is intact.”
The release also quoted the Anambra State Commandant, Mr. Vincent Ogu, as appreciating Governor Willie Obiano, the good people of the state and other sister security agencies for their support and collaboration towards enhancing the security architecture of the state.