Commercial activities returned to major parts of Owerri, the capital of Imo state, on Monday, after weeks of compliance to the sit-at-home order by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
IPOB, on July 30, ordered a sit-at-home in the south-east every Monday until Nnamdi Kanu, its leader, is released from the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).However, on August 14, the group announced a suspension of the order —modified it to whenever Kanu appears in court. But for about five weeks, business activities were still grounded every Monday out of fear of the unknown.
In Major parts of Owerri it was observed that banks, shops, schools and markets were opened for business — compared to previous Mondays where business areas and major roads were deserted.Ifunanya Nwosu, a trader at Wetheral road in Owerri, expressed delight over the return of commercial activities.She said while the sit-at-home order lasted, her business was impacted negatively.
“You know life is more important than anything. We have to stay indoors out of fear because nobody knows what could happen as we trade in this place,” Nwosu said.“I commend IPOB for cancelling this sit-at-home order because it was seriously affecting my business, these fruits I sell is where I get what I feed my family with on daily basis.”Izuchukwu Nwaiwu, a commercial vehicle operator, called on the federal government to dialogue with IPOB to prevent further outbreaks of violence in the region.“It is high time the federal government to engage the separatist group in a dialogue and also release its leader who is currently in detention to prevent further spread of violence and killings in the entire south-east region,” Nwaiwu said.
In June, Kanu was arrested in Kenya and brought to Nigeria. He was re-arraigned on charges bordering on treasonable felony brought against him by the federal government over his campaign for the separatist Republic of Biafra.
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