Sit-At-Home Order: Asaba, Okpanam Witness Partial Compliance

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The twin cities of Asaba and Okpanam in the Delta State witnessed partial compliance with the sit-at-home order by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), to honour the heroes and victims of the Nigerian Civil War from 1967-1970.

In the early hours of today, Monday, May 31, 2021, most of the shops along major roads such as Okpanam Road, Nnebisi Road, Summit Road, Old Anwai Road, Direct Labour Road and Ibusa Road were locked but with owners sited nearby for possible business transactions.

The Benin-Asaba-Onitsha Express Road was denied of its usual busy nature, especially in the Onitsha end where the Niger Bridge was completely deserted in the early hours of today.

Government offices were not left out as few cars were cited at the various offices, even though it was observed that a few officers were going about their official engagements.

Workers who came from neighbouring towns such as Ibusa, Ogwashi-Uku and Issele-Uku, noted that activities were normal but for the difficulty in getting vehicles to their Asaba, adding that few transporters came out for business.

The roads were however not empty of pedestrians and motorists, although traffic was light on most of the roads highlighted.

It was, however, observed that the headquarters of the state command of the Nigerian Police Force was heavily fortified with stern-looking and battle-ready police officers on standby and the lane on Okpanam Road leading to the headquarters completely blocked.

The situation created a slow vehicular movement on the opposite lane and motorists were compelled to make do with the one lane.

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At the front of the Government House, Asaba, security was tight and movements regulated through checks by security men on ground and staff reported for duty as usual.

A few schools were in session for teaching and learning while others were locked for fear of the unknown.

Banks and other financial institutions did not open for business, except for automatic teller machine (ATM) service, although staff in a few banks were seen moving in and out of their premises.

The scenario was a case of trepidation and caution, but towards the mid-day and evening, it was observed that shops started opening with confidence and more persons coming out to go after their businesses.

The Midwifery and parts of Ogbeogonogo Markets were already in full session as at the time of filing this report.

Residents and motorists who spoke on ground of anonymity, expressed the need for peaceful resolution of the agitations of IPOB.

They called on the federal government to convoke a national dialogue to address all troubling issues affecting the nation, include those of IPOB, advising that it was better to avoid crisis, deaths and destruction of property through negotiation.

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