Pandemonium broke out in Owerri, the Imo State capital and environs, on Monday over alleged sporadic shooting by gunmen enforcing sit-at-home order of Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB) in the State.The pandemonium, which caught residents of the city unawares around 10am, led to hasty closure of markets, shops, schools, banks, hotels and other sensitive institutions.
Vehicles, Okada riders and barrow pushers quickly disappeared from the roads and streets.Roadside traders also took to their heels scampering for safety.Parents abandoned businesses to search for their children in the various schools within and out the city despite heavy security put in place by the management of some schools.Transporters, including “Imo City Transport” were not left out as they equally withdrew their services, causing confusion and hardship on passengers who trekked long distances to get to their destinations.Our correspondent, who monitored the situation, reports of the presence of soldiers and other security agents on roads across the city.
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As at the time of filing this report, apart from the IPOB alleged connection to the pandemonium, there were allegations by some people against some overzealous officials of the state Environmental Transformation Commission (ENTRACO).Sources said the commission embarked on aggressive demolition of some structures on the Onitsha road, World Bank and Control Post which allegedly did not go down well with the owners of such demolished structures.According to the source, the fight that ensued resulted in stampede which spread to other parts of Owerri city, provoking confusion.Reacting, the Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Michael Abatham blamed it on mere rumour and hallucination by those intent to course confusion in the state.
“It was the rumour that created the pandemonium but our men and officers are in every nook and cronies,” he stressed.He advised members of the public not to panic and to go about their normal business, assuring that adequate security have being put in place to secure lives and properties in the State.
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