Unknown gunmen suspected to be members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) on Monday unleashed mayhem on residents of Owerri, the Imo State capital while enforcing the sit-at-home order.
Naija News learned that the gunmen who reportedly arrived around 10 am in Owerri from Aba to enforce the order forced traders to close markets and shops in the state capital.
The gunmen were said to have stormed markets on Wethral road, neighbouring Mbaise road, Douglas road and Naze along the Aba- Owerri road.
Traders at the multi-million Alaba International market and Naze Cluster markets quickly closed their shops and locked the entrances leading to the market.
According to Daily Trust, the unknown gunmen shot sporadically in the air to scare motorists and traders away from their stores.
As the chaos continue, many passengers came from their vehicles and ran for cover, while some vehicles collided with one another as drivers made frantic moves to turn back.
The confusion and mayhem led to the hasty closure of markets, shops, schools, banks, hotels and other institutions.
Fear-stricken parents and guardians rushed to schools to retrieve their children and wards despite heavy security put in place by the management of the school.
Hoodlums took advantage of the situation to loot some wares already displayed by shop owners who fled.
Reacting, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Michael Abattajm, denied reports that there was an enforcement of sit-at-home order in the state.
He blamed it on mere rumour and hallucination by those intending to cause confusion in the state by crying wolf where there was none.
Abattam advised members of the public not to panic and go about their normal businesses, assuring them that adequate security measures had been put in place to secure lives and properties.