Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike on Monday said the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) cannot issue a sit-at-home order to the people of Rivers State.
Wike said this on a private national television programe adding that Rivers is a South-South state and not one of the South-Eastern states.
IPOB had through its spokesperson, Emma Powerful said human and vehicular movements would be restricted across the South-East on Monday to mark the 54th anniversary of Biafra.
In compliance with this order, economic and commercial activities was reported to have come to a standstill in the South-East region of the country.
But Wike faulted the directive, saying he is not against the activities of the outlawed group in the eastern part of the country.
“IPOB cannot make an order to say sit- at -home in Rivers State. I have said so clearly before because it does not exist in Rivers State,” he said.
“Rivers State is not part of South-East. Rivers State is South-South, we are in the Niger Delta. I am not saying whether the people in the South-East should not obey what IPOB has said or not. But they cannot give order to Rivers people to sit at home.”
Streets in Owerri, Imo State capital were empty. Businesses, schools, and other major economic hubs were shut. Vehicular movements were also grounded as many residents observed the order.
Meanwhile there was a heavy presence of security operatives in strategic places in the city to forestall any breakdown of law and order.
In Abia State, streets were deserted and shops are under lock and key while in Anambra State, the situation is the same. Economic and social activities have been halted and there is a heavy security presence in major locations of the state to maintain law and order.
The situation is not too different in Ebonyi State as few vehicles were seen on the highway. The inner streets were deserted with security men positioned at different locations.
The state governor David Umahi had earlier instructed that no resident will be penalised if he or she chooses to stay at home.
Many businesses in Delta State capital, Asaba were also shut as residents complyed with the sit-at-home order. Banks and major shopping malls were closed.
At the popular wood market along the Asaba-Onitsha expressway, most shops were closed with a few traders around.