From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Aloysius Attah, Onitsha, Geoffrey Anyanwu, Enugu

Despite the call by Ohanaeze Ndigbo and state governments to stop Monday’s sit-at-home, traders and residents of major cities in the South East shut down major markets, schools, banks and other business places to defy the order and in continuation of the order.

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) had, in July, announced a sit-at-home order in protest against the arrest of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu. It later said the order would be only on  days Kanu would be arraigned in court.

Regardless, traders and residents of Onitsha and its environs in Anambra State observed the sit-at-home as major markets, schools, banks and business places where deserted.

One of the traders who spoke to Daily Sun, Eva Nwasah, said they would continue to observe the sit-at-home until Kanu is released from detention by the Federal Government.

Meanwhile, traders in Enugu metropolis have hailed IPOB and Ohanaeze Ndigbo for making the cancellation possible.

Speaking as markets, banks, fuel stations and business premises opened for business yesterday for the first time since the commencement of the Monday sit-at-home several weeks ago, the traders, however, bemoaned the absence of customers. However, motor parks were yet to be opened especially those for intercity and interstate transport.

At various markets in the city, Ogbete, New Market, Mayor and Artisan, many shops were opened but the absence of usual customers was noticed.

When Daily Sun moved round the city, New Haven was full of live; Coal Camp Spare Parts Market and Kenyatta Market also had bubbling economic activities, only Ogui Road known for electronics had its shops still under lock and keys.

Meanwhile, former chairman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Anambra State chapter, Chris Eluemunor, has bemoaned the continued sit-at-home and crippling of economic activities in the South East, describing the situation as self-imposed suffering.

Eluemunor, a member of Anambra State Elders’ Council, who spoke, yesterday, in his country home, Nkwele Ezunaka, against the backdrop of fears and threats which made most markets and businesses to remain shut, wondered why the situation would remain so even when the leadership of IPOB has reiterated its discountenance of the Monday’s sit-at-home protest.

Eluemunor said the continued sit-at-home was hurting the Igbo economy badly without hurting Nigerian government in any form. He said the lives of the ordinary petty traders and artisans in the region have been affected badly.

“We are hurting ourselves with this continued sit-at-home and it should be discouraged. We can encourage the sit-at-home only on days that Nnamdi Kanu is going to court so as to show him solidarity. People are showing him solidarity just like there are moves for the Federal Government to open up dialogue in that direction for his release because keeping Kanu in detention will worsen the situation,” he said.

He said any other unidentified group threatening people to keep staying at home every Monday should be treated as rebellious groups, noting that IPOB remains the only recognised group that belongs to Kanu.

He called the Igbo to reorganise themselves and conquer the threat and fear, noting that forcing one’s own people to sit-at-home can never be described as a genuine agitation.

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Source: news