Residents of Abakaliki, the Ebonyi state capital, have been thrown into panic following the sound of gunshots on Monday morning.
Gunmen suspected to be members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) are allegedly responsible for the disruption of order.
Residents in the state capital told TheCable that locals were seen scurrying to safety, with some seeking refuge in the bush.
A resident, who chose to remain anonymous, said roads in the state have been deserted as motorists and commuters fled for safety.
“When I drove towards the place called Ahia-ofu, I saw one Siena bus that was shattered. There was nobody there. I saw a few people standing afar off. I left to the international market where I carried some people. When I got there I saw people coming out in their numbers from the market and running helter skelter,” the source said.
“There is no particular group I can attribute it to. I believe people got scared by the gunshots and started panicking. As it is, the whole of Abakaliki is dry.”
Another resident said “there is panic in the town”, adding that people are running into hiding.
“It’s an hour plus ago. Some alleged unknown gunmen who came around to enforce probably the sit-at-home order and as news could carry it, the whole thing spread across that some shops were said to have been locked forcefully and some areas said to have been set ablaze,” he said.
“Everybody is hiding because according to the story, they were stationed at different locations, so you wouldn’t know where you would run toward to avoid getting ambushed.”
Chris Anyanwu, police spokesperson in Ebonyi, did not respond to calls and text messages to comment on the incident.