Pandemonium broke out yesterday at some markets, schools and banks in Onitsha and Nnewi the commercial and industrial towns of Anambra State, as commercial and business activities were disrupted following sporadic gunshots by unknown gunmen enforcing the sit-at-home order.
The development caused traders at the markets in the communities including Onitsha Main Market, Ochanja Central Market, Relief Market and Head Bridge Markets to close abruptly while banks hurriedly shut their doors against customers who visited to carry out some banking transactions.
The development made some schools to call parents who immediately rushed to schools to pick their children, particularly when they saw some Secondary School students going home.
This is even as the Anambra State Police command had urged residents of the state to go about their lawful activities and not to panic over rumours making the rounds, asking the people to remain indoors on Friday.
The State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, DSP, Tochukwu Ikenga, in a statement on Friday, said the panic was created by some “mischief makers” sharing false security alerts/messages and doctored old videos of security incidents to cause tension and panic in the state.
However the resident and traders dismissed police assurances of securing them, saying that Police, Army, Navy, DSS and NSCDC, were never on the streets on Mondays in the State.
A trader in Onitsha Main Market, who gave his name as Okechukwu Emelummadu, said, “We have Police, Army, Navy with their numerous check points where they extort money and cause traffic snarl. But it is funny that you cannot see the Policemen, Army, and other security operatives on the streets particularly in Onitsha and Nnewi, the two economic strength towns of the state to protect lives and properties.
A statement issued by the PPRO, Anambra State’, reads in part “The Anambra State Police Command, today 7/7/2023, has observed with great dismay, the mischievous act of persons sharing false security alerts/messages, and doctored old videos of security incidents to cause tension/panic in the state. Given the above, the Command shall invoke relevant cyber laws on persons found wanting in this regard.
“Meanwhile, the Command has noted that the confidence reposed on us by Ndi Anambra in the protection of lives and properties shall not be taken for granted. The Police with other security forces have intensified patrols, improved security dominance and surveillance in the state.