By Stanley Nwanosike
Socio-economic activities were shut down in Enugu on Monday following the sit-at-home order issued by pro-Biafra groups in the South East zone the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
The proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB); Movement for the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB); Biafra Zionist Movement (BZM) and other pro-Biafra groups have unanimously issued their annual sit-at-home order for May 30 and May 31.
The groups said that the sit-at-home was to commemorate and honour those that died during the 30-month Nigerian civil war.
In the metropolis, it was observed that all the streets, markets, banks, schools and government offices were closed.
Also closed for businesses were filling stations, malls and even hospitals.
NAN also observed that major markets – Mayor, Garki, Ogbete, New Market – were all shut down; while banks, other financial institutions, shops, malls and newspaper distribution axis did not open for business.
However, the state government had rescheduled the resumption of schools from May 31 to June 7 probably due to safety of children.
Reacting, an elderly man, Pa Johnson Nnam, told NAN that there was nothing wrong in putting aside a day to remember their departed brothers and sisters during the war.
Nnam, who is a trader in Ogbete Market, noted that the South-East governors should buy into and even set-up a memorial statute in each of the states for our “fallen heroes’’.
“We lost millions of people during the war, there is no family then in the East, that did not lose one, two or more persons.
“As humans, we owe it a duty to always remember part of us that have transited in glory,’’ he said.
A transporter, Mr Nnamdi Offor, said that the sit-at-home had afforded him the opportunity to know and interact with his neighbours the more and discuss national issues of mutual interest.
It is a similar situation in the local Government areas as people remained indoors and businesses closed.
In Abakpa Nike in Enugu East, there were no activities in the area except children who were seen playing football on the deserted streets.
Some people who spoke to NAN expressed satisfaction with the development adding that it reduced the incessant crime and criminality in the zone.
In Nsukka, many residents were seen sitting in front of their houses and observing the situation.
Mr Romanus Nnadi, a businessman, said he closed his shop in memory of departed heroes who sacrificed their lives during the war.
Mr Ken Ezema said the sit-at-home was the only way he could honor the war heroes.
A student of University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Frederick Nnanna said the exercise afforded him the opportunity to appreciate what happened during the civil war.
“I am 21 years old and I don’t know much about the Nigeria civil war because we did not do history in secondary school.
“I thank those who initiated the event and I hope it would be done subsequently,” he said.