The commercial city of Aba, Abia State, Nnewi and Onitsha in Anambra State as well as Owerri in Imo State were on Monday placed on lockdown by residents who refused to exit their houses or carry out commercial activities in compliance with a directive by the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
There were no vehicular movements in the cities, and commercial activities were suspended.
Reports from Nnewi indicate that one person may have been killed, but details are still sketchy as to the identity of the victim or circumstances that may have led to the death.
Blaze Newz reports that the IPOB group declared a sit-at-home directive for every Monday in the South-East region of the country starting August 9 to press home demands for the release of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu who is being tried for treason related offenses by the Nigerian government.
It had also earlier threaten to deal with anyone who flouts the order which it described as Ghost Monday, a situation which must have scared many residents to remain indoors to avoid possible violence.
Most shops and offices were under lock and key in Owerri, Onitsha, Nnewi and Aba as at the time of this report, against pleas by the state governments and the police for citizens to ignore the IPOB directive and go about their normal businesses.
There had been confusion earlier whether or not the Ghost Monday had been called off after contradicting communications came form the IPOB and a younger brother to the detained IPOB leader, Kanunta Kanu, who was said to have encouraged residents of the South-East to ignore the IPOB directive.
Kanunta had in a statement on Sunday, suspended the sit-at-home action, citing the National Examination Council’s (NECO) exams for junior secondary school students that had just begun as a reason.
Also, the IPOB leader’s younger brother said the group would announce a new date for the commencement of the sit-at-home.
However, the IPOB Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, in a counter-statement, maintained that the group would go ahead with the sit-at-home as planned on Monday, stating that the date remained sacrosanct.
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