Anambra, police embolden stranded travelers as sit-at-home stops holidaying commuters

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Many travelers were stranded at various motor parks in some parts of Anambra State on Monday over the weekly sit-at-home order.

Most hit were those who travelled home for the festive period and were travelling back to their stations ahead of the Tuesday resumption.

Although, the Monday sit-at-home order, earlier imposed by the Indigenous People of Biafra in the South East had been suspended by the group, residents are still observing it for fear of being attacked.

Our correspondent who went round various major motor parks in the state on Monday, observed that the parks were under lock and key while intending passengers stood by the entrance.

The roads were near empty and markets were also shut as no commercial activity took place.

Policemen also did not mount their usual checkpoints.

A few motorists who operated took advantage of the situation and were charging exorbitant fares.

One of the stranded passengers at the Lagos Park near the River Niger Bridge head, who identified herself as Mrs Veronica Akanimo, said she was aware of the Monday sit-at-home, but never knew it was serious.

Akanimo said, “I work in a private firm in Lagos State and we are resuming work tomorrow (Tuesday), so I set out to travel back to Lagos today (Monday), but on getting to the parks, I saw that nothing is happening.

“Before this park, I had gone to two others, the situation was the same. This is so stressful and annoying.”

Another intending passenger stranded at the Adam and Eve Park, Onitsha, who gave his name as Mr Steven Agha, lamented the “devastating blow” the situation has dealt him.

Agha said, “I don’t know why this sit-at-home home is still being observed when IPOB has cancelled it. I came home from Niger State to celebrate the festive season with my kinsmen and going back to base today for an important official assignment in Minna tomorrow, but as it seems now, I can’t travel again today as the park is empty.”

A member of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Onitsha branch, Mr Destiny Uzor, confirmed that they always observe the Monday sit-at-home in the South East because of the fear of being attacked.

“Although IPOB had since announced the reversal of the order, inadequate security, lack of awareness and possible fear of being attacked by gunmen made them to still be observing it,” Uzor said.

However, the state Commissioner for Information, Mr Don Adinuba, in his reaction, urged the people to ignore sit-at-home order as the government had provided adequate security to protect them as they go about their lawful activities.

He said, “The government has continuously told the people to ignore the sit-at-home order and go about their lawful business, I don’t know why they have decided to continue observing it. It is not the government’s fault.”

Also, the spokesman of the state police command, DSP Ikenga Tochukwu, urged the people to ignore the sit-at-home and go about their lawful business.

“The people should go about their lawful business because our presence has dominated the space and it is among other strategies, the police command is implementing to sustain public peace and safety,” he added.

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