The tension that currently pervades Imo State, particularly its capital city, Owerri, following the level of insecurity in recent times, has compelled residents to impose a dusk-to-dawn curfew on themselves.
Residents no longer stay outside beyond 6:00 p.m. daily thereby disrupting their socio-economic activities.
Our correspondent gathered that as soon as it is approaching 6:00 p.m, residents hurry to their homes to avert coming into the line of fire, either by unknown gunmen or security personnel.
The incidents that took place at Orji on Sunday night and Hausa Quarters on Monday night have further heightened fear among the residents.
It will be recalled that a three-man armed gang had stormed the Orji axis of Owerri-Okigwe expressway, shooting and robbing motorists on Sunday night.
Among the motorists shot and robbed was the state Commissioner for Entrepreneurship and Skill Acquisition, Iyke Ume, who was driving in an unmarked security vehicle.
Same Sunday night, soldiers stationed at Government House roundabout, Owerri shot and killed an undergraduate of the Imo State University, Owerri, Miss Divine Nwaneri. The soldiers also shot the driver of the vehicle in which the female undergraduate was riding in, but he was said to have survived.
On Monday, some unknown gunmen exchanged fire at the Hausa settlement in Owerri from about 9:00 p.m. to 12:00 midnight. It could not be ascertained whether there was any casualty but residents living in the area said they couldn’t sleep until the shootings stopped. Security men have since cordoned off the roads leading to the settlement to avert another invasion.
A medical doctor who gave his name simply as Dr Chike said he had to hide at a corner of his room with his wife and children to ensure no stray bullet caught them during the exchange of fire.
Shops around the settlement remained closed on Tuesday, April 27, thereby depriving the owners’ the opportunity to carry out their normal trading business.
One of the business owners who gave his name as Chief Chukwu said though they would have wanted to carry on with their business activities, remaining alive is more important now to them.
He hoped to resume normal trading activities as soon as the coast becomes clear that the unknown gunmen would not return.