Major streets in Umuahia, business premises as well as the workers’ Secretariat, today, were all deserted, as a result of the sit at home order by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The IPOB sit at home order which was partially observed before now, gained momentum again today, following the uproar observed last week Monday.
Recall, that last Monday, residents of Umuahia took to panic,alleging that the members of the Indigenous People of Biafra were seen moving with guns, chasing people to go back to their houses and observe the sit at home order.
Schools, markets places and other business areas were instantly shut down for the fear of the unknown.
Our Correspondent who went round some streets in Umuahia today, said that this is the first time, residents of Umuahia would observe the sit at home order in total compliance.
She reported that at the workers’ Secretariat, most offices were under lock, while the ones that were opened, had few staff hanging around, with no official duties going on.
Unlike the usual happenings on Mondays, the workers’ Secretariat which usually record a beehive of activities even with the IPOB sit at home order, took a different dimension today.
It could also be recalled that the government of Abia had announced that no worker should stay back from work on Mondays, as anyone not found on his duty post, might be faced with some sanctions. This order was also ignored today, with 80% of workers absent from work.
In some schools visited, no teacher or students were seen on ground, as the gates of these schools were all closed. It was gathered that students were asked not to come to school today, to avoid the repeat of last week’s panic, where everyone was running helter skelter for safety, while some schools decided to use this week as a mid term break because of the two days sit at home by the IPOB and the holiday declared by the federal government.
The situation was not different in our markets. In the popular Orieugba market visited, traders were only hanging around with their shops closed, while they attend to buyers secretly.
In a chat with some traders who pleaded anonymity, said, they will not open their shops until maybe evening, when the tension must have doused down.
According to them, they do not want a repeat of last week’s attack where some of them left their shops open and ran away, adding that if not for God, maybe their goods would have been stolen.
The General Manager of Abia Newspapers And Publishing Corporation, Prince Tony Onyeomereneche, who was on duty, pleaded with Ndigbo to defile orders that can incapacitate the economy and go about their businesses without fear or favour.
“It is not in Igbos to behave this way. People should not glorify miscreants without any reason. Igbos are known to be killers of Lion not Cowards.
“This sitting at home for no reason is killing the economy of the South East. We are known for hardworking. We have been surviving all these years. We are enterprising and not beggars”, he said.
The General Manager further enjoined workers to come out and do their normal work, asking if they were doing a private job, won’t they have come out to look for what to eat?
“Some workers enjoy this sit at home. But they should know one thing, if this continues, our economy will be crippled and our government might not be able to meet up with salary payment.
“If you have not payrolled before, you will not know what it takes to pay for work not done”.
He, however, commended his staff who defiled the order to come to work, why believing that the situation gets better.