Residents of Anambra State have blamed market leaders, operators of banks, and motor park operators for the prolonged sit-at-home exercise across the state.
Some of the residents who spoke with our correspondent lamented that despite the assurances by the state Governor, Chukwuma Soludo, that the sit-at-home order would be stopped from January 2023, the people have continued to observe it to the detriment of trade and commerce.
Soludo, during a meeting with the civil servants in the state last December, had said that starting from January 2023, the workers in the state would be observing full working days of the week as the sit-at-home order by the Indigenous People of Biafra would have become a thing of the past.
But despite this, the people have remained adamant as they still observe the sit-at-home order.
As usual, markets, banks, motor parks, schools and petrol stations remained shut on Monday across the major cities of Onitsha, Nnewi, Ekwulobia, Obosi, and some parts of Awka, as people stayed indoors.
The ever-busy Onitsha-Owerri Road and the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway and other major roads in the state were deserted with scanty movement.
Although business activities have increased in recent times, the three lifeless bodies that were seen along the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway towards the Bridgehead, on Monday morning, caused panic and forced residents to avoid the area.
An indigene of Nnewi, who gave his name as Paul Okeke, while blaming banks and market authorities for the continued sit-at-home, called for the authorities to beef up security around public places.
A wholesaler based in Onitsha, Chief Maduneme Obiaku, lamented that every other sector of the economy was beginning to function on Monday except the markets, banks, courts, schools, and petrol stations.
He said, “Some sectors of the economy have picked up, the commercial buses have resumed in earnest, mini markets such as street markets are beginning to open, except that major markets and banks that will bring the entire economy to full capacity are not yet functioning.
“Money is not being paid and withdrawn from banks nor sales and payment being made in the markets because the markets are under lock and key, so it’s high time the people stopped this nonsense exercise before our economy finally crumbles.”
A transporter, Ike Onyeacho, disclosed that it has become a tradition for people to stay indoors on Mondays because they enjoy the exercise as one of the holidays.
“Monday has become a tradition as a day of rest but those who enjoy it more are the lazy ones who will only rely on the hardworking people to feed on without working for what they will eat and when they find no food, they turn to evil.
“The only thing Soludo can do for Monday to be restored is to order market leaders to reopen their markets or risk being sacked. If the markets are open, then, things will begin to pick up,” he added.