BREAKING: Soldiers patrol Owerri as residents comply with sit-at-home

Despite the presence of soldiers patrolling every nook and cranny of Owerri, the Imo State capital, yesterday, residents still complied with the sit-at-home order declared by a faction of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) led by Simon Ekpa.

•Group warn Ekpa over order

Despite the presence of soldiers patrolling every nook and cranny of Owerri, the Imo State capital, yesterday, residents still complied with the sit-at-home order declared by a faction of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) led by Simon Ekpa….CONTINUE READING

Residents had partially observed the one-week sit-at-home last week, causing its extension by three days, which ended yesterday. The group had allegedly dispatched a letter, noting its observation that traders, in Owerri and environs, did not comply with the directive, threatening to deal decisively with errant residents, who defied the order.

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At the weekend, gunmen stormed a popular junction in Akwakuma, Owerri North Council, killing a tricycle operator and a passer-by, causing traders and motorists to scamper for safety.

Enforcers of the order had invaded a market in Obolo, Isiala Mbano Council of the state, setting parts of the market ablaze, including vehicles. Some traders were also flogged and ordered to return to their homes.

Yesterday, in Owerri, popular markets (Relief, Ekeukwu, Amajohia, Akwakuma) were shot. Banks, eateries, shops, schools and government offices were closed.

The Guardian observed that the level of compliance was high compared to previous days.

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Traders, who defied the order and came out, only provided skeletal services to their customers. Respondents, who spoke to The Guardian under anonymity, said they were “afraid of the unknown.”

MEANWHILE, President, Concerned Nigerians Network (CNN) in the Diaspora, James Erebuoye, has warned the self-acclaimed IPOB leader, Simon Ekpa, to desist from issuing sit-at-home orders in the South East.

Erebuoye said Ekpa would face consequences of the crisis rocking the region, which is affecting peace of the country, if he continues to issue such orders.

The CNN President, who is also the Founder, Rebuild Nigeria Movement (RNM) Worldwide, gave the warning in a statement in Abuja. He said: “It is gradually becoming a tradition in the South East that people must sit at home on Mondays or risk losing their lives to some unknown gunmen.”

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Erebuoye further said that if Ekpa fails to listen to the warning, the group would have no option but to ensure he is chased out of his comfort zone in Finland and the entire Diaspora communities back home (Nigeria) to face the law.

He added: “He can’t be in his comfort zone and be instigating crisis in Nigeria, thereby, depriving people of their daily livelihoods for his selfish interest….CONTINUE READING