Traders Across The 24 Local Governments Of Anambra State Closed Markets Yesterday To Protest Transfer Of Boko Haram Convicts To Aguata Prison.
All the markets and street shops across the 24 local governments of the state remained shut yesterday as traders under the auspices, Amalgamated Markets Traders Association (AMATAS) remained at home throughout the state in readiness for the protest scheduled to hold at Ekwulobia Township Stadium which is adjacent to Aguata Prisons where some of the Boko Haram suspects are presently held.
In Onitsha, the commercial town of the state, no trader was seen in any of the markets as the umbrella union ,AMATAS, led by Chief Okwudili Ezenwankwo and his secretary, Chuma Eruchalu, had made radio announcements sympathising with traders in the state for the closure of markets across the state.
At the Onitsha Main Market and Electronics Market located along Enugu/Onitsha Expressway, all the gates leading to the markets remained shut through out yesterday.
At the popular Onitsha Bridge-head Market, shops remained closed except for the market vigilante who moved round the market to ensure that the order was not contravened.
At Old Market Road, around Onitsha General Post Office, some staff allegedly belonging to Onitsha North Local Government was reported to have embarked on shop-to-shop enforcement of the order. Some newspaper vendors who displayed their wares were asked to move their newspapers and magazine out of sight.
Ezenwankwo in a telephone interview told our correspondent that the peaceful protest which had gained national and international dimension was to guarantee the safety of all the peace loving people in the South-East part of the country.
A Niger State-based Industrialist from the state, Chief Don Onuigbo, who spoke to our correspondent yesterday from Minna said that those who planned the relocation of the dreaded Boko Haram suspects to the state did not mean well for the people of the South East and urged the Federal Government to seek possible ways of relocating the suspects to the North East where they committed the crime.
Chief Onuigbo reiterated his support to the traders’ protest and commended Governor Willie Obiano and other Nigerians for speaking out against what he described as evil plot against the people of the South-East.
The industrialist stated that the action of the Boko Haram insurgence which has devastated both economic and social lives of the North East could not be tolerated in the South East as the people were not known in the culture of killings and other forms of violence. Similar protests are believed to have taken place simultaneously across the states in the entire South East.