Anambra: IPOB sit-at-home order records total compliance; newspaper vendors, others wounded


Sit-at-home order put in place by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in remembering the Biafrans fallen heroes, on Thursday, witnessed total compliance in some parts of Anambra State.

The places where the influence of the order by the proscribed IPOB were observed totally included Onistha, Nnewi, Obosi, Okpoko, Ogidi, Awada, Nkpor, Nsugbe and Odekpe where markets, banks and financial and economic institutions including transportation were totally shutdown.

It, however, witnessed partial compliance in Awka, the state capital as some civil servants residing within the city went to work, while those residing outside the capital city were reportedly told by their superiors not to attend due to fear.
Blueprint Correspondent observed low vehicular movement at both places the sit-at-home order witnessed total and partial compliance.

Security men including the police, military, vigilante group, civil Defence Corps, among others, had as early as 6.30am converged at Tarzan junction Nkpor and later scattered to check-mate activities of IPOB members to restrain them from frustrating freedom of movement across the state.

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But it allegedly did not stop the members of the proscribed group from unleashing mayhem on some people at Nnewi where some members of Catholic Church sustained varying degrees of injury following attack on them. Among them is a Sales’ executive with the SUN newspapers, passengers of a commercial bus who defiled the order, and Catholic Church parishioners going for early morning mass or returning from prayer vigil.

According to an eyewitness, about 2000 pro-Biafra groups had stormed the industrial city as at 4:30am to compel people to observe the sit-at-home order. The Sun Newspaper’s Sales Executive at Nnewi Out-station, Mr Eze Chukwu, it was learnt, escaped from the agitators by whiskers at Nnewi roundabout where he had gone to share newspapers to distributors.

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Chukwu said, “Our driver informed me that our paper had arrived and I hurried up to our distributing point. On my way back, I ran into a large number of pro-Biafra agitators near First Bank junction and there was no way for me to run away.

“They circled around me, claiming they thought I was a police officer because I have no beards which I denied. I told them I work with The Sun Newspaper but they didn’t believe me and some of them raised their clubs to hit me. I begged them to follow me to where parcels of our newspapers were packed for them to be convinced that I work with The Sun and they followed me and saw the parcel before they now asked me to run away.”

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Members of the proscribed group also allegedly attacked a vehicle with registration number: CL 163 BEN, Toyota saloon car at Nnewi Rounabout.

But reacting in a WhatsApp group, Police Media Forum, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Anambra State Command, Mr Haruna Muhammed said the sit-at-home order by IPOB did not gain acceptance by the public in the state.

“People opened for business activities and going about their legitimate businesses. The combined security forces are patrolling all the nooks and crannies of the state in order to provide adequate security to di Anambra and ensure that there is no breach of public peace in the state,” he maintained.

He also described as fake news reports of alleged clash between IPOB members and security men.

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