Traders protest against Enugu shops closure

One person was reportedly killed by an anti-riot police squad who tried to stop protesters at Ogbete main market in Enugu on Wednesday.

Enugu residents were protesting against an order to seal their shops by the state government for their compliance with last Monday’s sit-at-home order that was issued by the Finland-based Simon Ekpa.

It was also learnt that many other traders sustained various degrees of gun injuries.

Recall that the Enugu State government on Monday sealed the shops of traders who did not open their shops on Monday.

An eyewitness narrated that the aggrieved Ogbete traders were protesting peacefully in the market environment over the illegal sealing of their shops by the state government before police intercepted them and started shooting in the air.

The protesters disclosed that: “We are angry, to open shop is not by force. State government should leave us alone to do our business”.

One of the traders, popularly known as Lasisy told Vanguard correspondent that: “They’ve been shooting and killing people in the market here.

“The traders started protesting here because those whose shops were closed because of the sit-at-home were asked to pay money before their shops will be reopened. They said they will not pay with any money and that was how the protest started.

“The protesters started making bonfires on the roads and the police moved armoured tanks into the market, started indiscriminate shooting and killed people. Some got bullet injuries and others got different forms of wounds. Teargas were being shot and pandemonium ensured”.

Former Chairman of the Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority, Dr. Joseph Onoh in his reaction to the development disclosed that he was among the people that tried in the last dispensation to dissuade the Enugu residents from complying with the sit-at-home order but were unsuccessful.

Onoh however gave credit to the state Governor, Peter Mbah’s administration for his fight to ensure that the sit-at-home order is not complied with again in the state, alleging that political opponents of the government were probably sabotaging the state Governor’s determination.

“Peter Mbah’s efforts against sit-at-home are being sabotaged by some political elements in the state. He has shown more interest in combating the menace of sit-at-home and has brought to purview the financial loss the state is incurring in the futile exercise. It’s sad that some political characters and some that lost their elections are using the sit-at-home to frustrate Peter Mbah”, Onoh alleged.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Daniel Ndukwe disclosed that even though he did not have a comprehensive report on the matter, normalcy was returning to the market and that the police were still at the market to maintain peace.


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