Sit-at-home: hoodlums attack journalists in Anambra


Two journalists were yesterday attacked by hoodlums allegedly enforcing the suspended sit-at-home order by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the Ihiala area of Anambra State.

Chijioke Nwamkpa, a Vanguard photojournalist based in Rivers State and Chris Imbufe, a reporter with Peoples FM in Bayelsa State, were returning to their bases when they were attacked.

Nwamkpa said they were accosted by the hoodlums numbering about 11 at a checkpoint in Ihiala.

He said they were driving from Aguata Local Government Area where they had been on election duty when they were stopped by some gun-wielding men in police bulletproof jackets.

He said: “When we got to the checkpoint with some woods and a speed bump and slowed down, some young guys wearing police bulletproof jackets ordered us to stop.

“We thought they were policemen and had to stop, expecting the usual banters but that was not the case.

“Suddenly, some others came out from the bush, all of them with guns and charms tied on their heads.

“One of them was complaining bitterly about us, querying why we’re not supporting Biafra, and why we’re on the road instead of sitting at home.

“As soon as I told them that we thought that the sit-at-home has been cancelled, they started slapping and beating us with sticks on all parts of our bodies.

“It was indeed hell for us. One of them coked his gun and ordered we sat on the floor.”

Nwamkpa said they did not lose their valuables.

“I think their concern was simply to enforce the sit-at-home, otherwise, they would have carted away with our laptops, phones, camera and other valuables,” he added.

In Umuahia, the Abia State capital, shop owners, private schools and other establishments opened for business.

But in Aba, the commercial centre, government offices, markets, schools, banks and petrol stations did not open for business.

In Ebonyi State, schools were open within Abakaliki, the state capital.

Markets and shops at the international market also opened for business, as well as banks.

Courts at the Judiciary Headquarters in Abakaliki opened; civil servants were at their duty posts.

Major eateries, restaurants and malls in the state capital also opened for business.

But transport companies did not provide service to states like Enugu, Imo and Anambra.

In Imo, normal activities returned. At the state secretariat along Owerri-Port Harcourt, workers were at their duty posts.

Major markets in Owerri metropolis resumed trading activities unlike last Monday when they were closed.

Some traders were seen at the Ekeukwu market in Owerri.

In Enugu, residents went about their businesses, but some shops did not open until about 3.00 pm.

Some markets, such as Afia Nine, Mayor Market and a few others were open.

However, schools, banks and malls were shut, while those that opened had no customers.

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