The sit-at-home order in Owerri, Imo State on Monday took a different dimension as residents and traders, out of fear of attack by suspected gunmen, scampered for safety.
The situation generated anxiety among commercial bus drivers and some residents who went out for shopping as they took to their heels.
The rumour of the attack came when some markets such as Eke Ukwu, Owerri, Relief, shops amongst others earlier opened for business were abruptly closed.
Traders on the streets of Owerri and Ekeukwu deserted their goods and wears while others immediately closed their shops.
While a good number of traders sustained injuries in the course of running for safety, others had their goods destroyed.
When contacted on the telephone, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Michael Abattam, said the command was investigating the cause of the stampede.
Meanwhile, there was also apprehension on Monday in Asaba and its environs as parents trooped to schools to pick their children as members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra allegedly entered the city to enforce the sit-at-home order.
A print media reporter observed the development around 9.30am as school authorities were calling parents to pick their children.
It was gathered that IPOB members allegedly entered schools in Okwe area of Asaba and chased out schoolchildren and teachers.
At the popular Ogbogonogo market in Asaba, business activities were paralysed in the early hours of the day as traders stayed away from their shops.
It was observed that most of the shops were not open for business until 12 noon when traders were seen milling around, observing the situation so as not to be caught up unexpectedly by the hoodlums.
It was also gathered that unknown gunmen shot indiscriminately at Bonsaac which allegedly led to the death of one person, thereby creating apprehension in the state.
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Bright Edafe, said he was not aware of the killing even as he stated that the command had drafted personnel to every nook and cranny of the state to provide security for the people.