Business and commercial activities in Onitsha, Anambra State were completely grounded in Onitsha, Anambra state while schools, public institutions, markets and street shops were under lock and key.
Markets, including popular Onitsha Main Market, Ochanja Central Market, Bridge Head Medicine market, food markets Ose Okwodu, Coca Cola market, Relief Market Okpoko, Spare Motor Spare Parts Markets, among other markets were all shut from business activities.
Banks located within the commercial city and its environs and suburbs, were all shut contrary to plan to open for business following state government’s directive to workers in the state to report to work or lose their salary.
Major roads and streets were deserted, including the ever busy Niger Bridge, Onitsha/Enugu expressway to Upper Iweke through Army barracks, Ziks roundabout to Nkpor and old Ogbunike toll gate were turned ghosts areas.
No human and vehicular movements were sighted at both ends of Onitsha and Asaba, the Delta State capital as the two pedestrian cross of both side of bridge were completely deserted.
Some persons on masks with assorted weapons were sighted beating, maiming and destroying valuables of those who defied the order.
Even Sunday statement allegedly released by Kanu’s younger brother, claiming suspension of the order, as well as government directive threatening to withhold salaries of workers who did not report to work could not encourage residents to go out to their respective businesses.
Some residents who spoke to our correspondent, said their safety was paramount to them. The civil servants among them admitted hearing about the government directives, but said they did not want to take any chances.
The workers who had expressed their resolve to monitor the situation of things in their locality before leaving their homes for work, said the directives left them between their safety and source of livelihood.
A civil servant who simply identified himself as Okechukwu said he had intended to report to work but could not find vehicle to take him to Awka where his office is located.
He stressed that the directive was expected, but argued that necessary measures should have been put in place before issuing such orders.
He said, “I had planned going to work today, but when I came out, I couldn’t even find a keke to take me to park, not to talk of the bus that will take me to Awka.”
Another worker, who refused to mention his name simply said, “We are ready to forfeit our salaries as long as our lives are intact. Is not when you’re alive that you can work and be paid? “