Major and minor cities in Anambra State, including Awka, Onitsha, Nnewi, Ekwulobia and others were on Monday totally shut down in compliance with the directive of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The group had called for a shutdown of businesses in southeast states every Monday until its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu who is in the custody of the Department of State Service (DSS) is released.
There had been confusion yesterday as to whether the exercise would hold or not. This was because of a counter directive by Kanu’s brother who said the exercise had been called off to allow students sitting for the NECO examination to do so.
However, spokesperson of the group, Emma Powerful, quickly refuted the claim, saying the order was sacrosanct.
Monday’s sit-at-home registered heavy compliance in Anambra, with banks, schools, markets, shops, eateries and other businesses deserted.
A NEWSMEN correspondent who moved around to monitor the level of compliance found that even although markets were open, traders refused to resume business.
The Anambra State Government had earlier threatened to withhold August salaries of workers who failed to resume for duties on Monday.
At the state secretariat complex, it was also observed that most workers came to work because of the order but they left almost immediately after signing the attendance register.
Motor parks were also deserted as motorists and passengers alike stayed away, leaving streets deserted.
In Nnewi, a source told MEWSMEN that two persons were killed very early in the morning at Izuchukwu junction for daring to come out. Their identities and that of their attackers were however not revealed.
NEWSMEN reports that police patrol vehicles were on every major street, sitting civilly in their vehicles, providing protection for the few people that were courageous enough to leave their houses.
A market leader at Eke Awka market, who did not disclose his name said: “The leadership of the market did its best by opening the market, but traders refused to come.
“You can see that some of the traders opened, but there are no customers. I think it is rather out of fear that people did not come to the market, and not because they want to comply with IPOB directive.”