By Sabi Elemba, Owerri
Imo State Thursday looked like a country which was seized and conquered after a protracted war as residents stayed in doors in compliance with the sit-at-home order by the dreaded Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). This adds to every Monday sit at home that is now biting at the economy of the common man.
The freedom fighting IPOB had few days ago issued a directive in protest over the widely publicised one-day official visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to the state.
Our reporter In Owerri, the state capital, said ,compliance was total and unpresidented as movement of vehicles, commercial activities, schools, banks, filling stations, hospitality industry, artisans, streets and roads side traders and business centres were all packed up for business and fled from the streets ,signifying 100 percent obedience to the order of IPOB rather than the State government that repeated appealed to them to come enmass and welcome President Buhari .
Our reporter stated that the picture was the same in Orlu, Okigwe, Oguta, and the entire, three local government areas in Mbaise as well as the rest of the 27 local government areas of the state, where everything came to a stand still.
Rather the security men comprising soldiers, mobile policemen, men of DSS and NSCDC were all seen as they took over the roads and strategic junctions just as a helicopter continuously hovered around the Owerri municipality.
President Buhari, who eventually arrived the State around 9am was received by Governor Hope Uzodimma, members of his cabinet, the House of Assembly members and a retinue of the APC political family.
He, having commissioned a number of projects executed by the Uzodimma administration, reiterated his determination to accord all sections of the country a sense of belonging in governance.
He described roads as inevitable infrastructure in societal transformation and commended Governor Uzodimma for his spirited efforts to move the State forward through the provision of infrastructure.
President Buhari noted that the problems confronting the State were similar to those facing the Federal Government and enjoined the people of the State to remain patient with his administration in its effort to address all crucial national issues.
Governor Uzodimma had earlier expressed gratitude to the President for his assistance to the state to tackle it’s security challenges.
He said that he had paid compensations to families of security men who lost their lives in the hands of bandits and had also taken steps to cushion the plight of other families who lost their members in the hands of criminals.
He reiterated the commitment of the people of the state to the continued corporate existence of the nation.
However, some communities carried on with local activities such as burials without disturbance, meaning that the order was actually against Buhari)
(Note: IPOB won because they made the streets empty; Imo governor won because his beloved guest came and went; and Buhari won because he made his trip to show SE is under his jurisdiction. But, did the common man win?)