Streets of major cities in Anambra State were again on Monday empty as residents stayed indoors in compliance with the sit-at-home order already suspended by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The group had on October 1, 2021 declared every Monday as sit-at-home, restricting movement across the Southeast region of the country in honour of its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, who is currently in the custody of the Department of Security Service (DSS), as he faces trial before the Federal High Court, Abuja, for treasonable felony.
Although IPOB later announced that it had cancelled the order, residents across the five states of the Southeast have continued to observe the order, partly as a result of frequent attacks and killings by gunmen who usually claim to be enforcing the cancelled order.
While some filling stations and street shops were open for businesses, students were at home as schools sent text messages to parents reminding them of non-academic activities.
Interestingly, while the Anambra State Commissioner of Police, CP Echeng Echeng, has repeatedly maintained that the Command in the state is determined to rid the state of crimes and criminals, it was observed on Monday that operatives of the command were not found in many of their usual checkpoints in Awka.
SaharaReporters’ visit to the popular Aroma Roundabout in the heart of the city showed that none of the traffic controllers who usually operate at the area was on duty. Also, no police officer was found at a checkpoint along Ifite Road, before Ukwu Aki Junction.
SaharaReporters observed that while Star Sunny Motor park at Aroma Roundabout was not active as no passenger vehicles belonging to the transport company were found, there was still partial movement by a few tricycle operators and minibus shuttle drivers.
Meanwhile, there were more restricted movements in most of the eight local government areas in the state where Governor Charles Soludo had on Wednesday in his state broadcast announced a ban on Keke Napep and Motorcycle movement on Mondays till further notice.
Soludo had during the state broadcast announced that, “With effect from tomorrow, Friday, 26th May, 2022, a 6pm to 6am curfew is hereby placed on motorcycles (okada), tricycles (keke), and shuttle buses in Aguata, Ihiala, Ekwusigo, Nnewi North, Nnewi South, Ogbaru, Orumba North and Orumba South Local Governments until further notice.
“Until further notice also, motorcycles, keke and shuttle buses are banned from operating in these local governments on Mondays until the Sit-at-Home completely stops. The youths of every community in the zone are hereby enjoined to assist the security agencies in the implementation of this policy and are mandated to seize any such motorcycle or tricycle on the spot.
“Local Vigilantes should report such motorcycles or tricycles (keke) immediately, and they will be confiscated by the government and the owner prosecuted. The Okada, Keke, and shuttle bus union leaders must take responsibility to report their members who are involved in criminal activities.
“We shall review this after two weeks, and if members of these unions continue to be involved in criminal activities, the government will have no choice but to either disband the Unions and/or ban them out rightly in the state.”