Residents of Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, on Thursday, defied the sit-at-home order allegedly issued by unknown gunmen to protest the visit of President Muhammad Buhari to the state.
According to the reports, President Buhari will embark on a two-day visit to Ebonyi State on Thursday and Friday.
Governor David Umahi on Tuesday said President Buhari would be in the state on an official engagement.
It was reported that gunmen, Wednesday, threatened to deal with violators of the sit-at-home order.
It was gathered that “Gunmen were seen shooting in some streets of Aba in Abia and in Imo and Anambra, announcing to residents that there will be sit-at-home on Thursday and Friday when President Buhari is to visit Ebonyi State and that they must observe it throughout the South-East.”
The gunmen demanded the immediate release of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. Kanu is being detained in the custody of the DSS, Abuja, and faces trial on running a proscribed group, treason, and jumping bail.
It is not clear if the gunmen were members of Kanu’s Indigenous People of Biafra. IPOB had many a time disassociated itself from the destruction of property and killings that had characterized the South East since the arrest of Mazi Kanu.
A resident of Ebonyi State, Mike Ugwu, said, “The state is peaceful. I also want to tell you that sit-at-home is not observed in Ebonyi State on Mondays.”
In Enugu, the state capital, businesses were going on at the time of filing this report.
A trader said, “We only obey Monday sit-at-home orders and on days our leader is appearing in court. We won’t kill our businesses over this matter.”
Workers at the state secretariat were also seen carrying out their duties. Similar reports were gathered in Awka.
A civil servant, Othniel Maduakor, said, “Businesses, both government and private, are moving on well in Awka. I’m not even aware. That order is coming from the non-IPOB group, otherwise, it would have been more widespread.”