IPOB Sit-at-Home Order: ‘Enforcement’ Puts Owerri In Turmoil

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BY ONYEKACHUKWU IBEZIM – The Owerri, the Imo State capital and environs, were in turmoil on Monday following alleged sporadic shootings by some gunmen out to enforce the purported sit-at-home order of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the State.

Residents of the city were caught unawares at about 10 am when the chaos broke out, leading to the hasty closure of shops, schools, banks, hotels, markets, and other sensitive private and public institutions.

According to reports, amid the confusion, petty roadside traders took to their heels with some abandoning their wares in search of safety, while vehicles’ owners, Okada riders, and even barrow pushers vanished from sight with the roads and streets of the city suddenly becoming empty of both human and vehicular traffic.

Also, the heavy security put in place by most schools’ management did not stop with many parents abandoning their businesses in search of their children in various schools spread across the city.

Enveloped by the fear factor spreading through the city, transport operators, including “Imo City Transport” withdrew their services, and the development further orchestrated the chaos and hardship visited on commuters who had to trek long distances to reach their destinations.

However, calm gradually returned as heavy security presence of soldiers and other security personnel were observed on major roads and popular places across the city.

Unconfirmed reports however said besides the suspected IPOB’s connection to the mayhem, some residents also laid the blame on those they called overzealous officials of the state Environmental Transformation Commission (ENTRACO) who were carrying out demolition of structures in some parts of the city.

The sources accused the ENTRACO officials of undertaking an aggressive demolition of some structures on the Onitsha road, World Bank, and Control Post, a development that allegedly did not go down well with owners of the affected structures.

It was gathered that in the ensuing confusion, rumours spread to other parts of Owerri city with confusion reigning everywhere as most residents took to their heels without really knowing what was happening.

However, the State Police Command Public Relations Officer, CSP Michael Abatham attributed the pandemonium to ‘mere rumour and hallucination’ by those with the evil intention of causing disorder in the state.

CSP Abatham said; “It was the rumour that created the pandemonium but our men and officers are in every nook and cronies,” even as he urged the public to go about their normal business without any panic.

The Police Spokesman assured that adequate security measures have been put in place to secure lives and properties across the length and breadth of the Southeast State. – With The Nation reports

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