It was a hectic day in Onitsha yesterday as some youths wielding guns and other dangerous weapons tried to disrupt economic activities in the town by enforcing sit-at-home.
The youths, suspected to be members of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, burnt a commercial bus in Onitsha, claiming to be enforcing a sit-at-home directive.
They also burnt a tricycle while shooting in the air.
A message had last weekend been circulated on social media, stating that there will be a 4-day sit-at-home exercise in the southeast, beginning from Monday, May 8 to 11. No reason was given for the order. But a press release by the spokesperson of IPOB, Mr Emma Powerful, stated that the group had announced May 30 as a day for all Biafrans to sit at home in commemoration of Biafra Day.
The burning of vehicles, it was gathered, had sent panic through Onitsha town, with a source saying that the enforcers were heading towards Abagana in Njikoka Local Government Area through the old road.
But the state police command’s spokesperson, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, who confirmed the incident, said police operatives confronted the enforcers, and they had long been dislodged.
He said: “Police responded swiftly which made the criminals escape the scene. The hoodlums, in an attempt to scare the residents from coming out to embark on their daily activities, stopped and set on fire commercial vehicles and tricycles plying the road.
“The residents courageously resisted the assailants and the fire has been put off by the police operatives and some people in the area. Meanwhile calm has returned to the area and the situation is under control and monitored.”