Nnewi – One person was shot dead while commercial and other activities were Friday grounded in Onitsha the commercial city of Anambra state and its environs by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB who were protesting the continued detention of their leader Mr. Nnamdi Kanu.
Vehicular movements were also disrupted along the Onitsha Enugu Expressway, Onitsha Owerri Road, Uga Atani Ogaru Local Government Road, Onitsha Aguleri, Nsugbe, Nkwelle Ezunaka Roads, Old and New Market Roads, Nkpor, Ogidi, Obosi Roads, thereby causing traffic gridlocks on all the roads within and outside Onitsha.
Markets in Onitsha and its environs were all shot between 7am to about 2.30pm when some traders were seen loitering around their markets to see if they will be allowed to open, while some decided to go home for the day as they were also afraid that they may be attacked.
Although the Anambra State Government had announced through the market leaders who also exchanged text messages to ensure that their markets were open but the traders seemed to be unwilling to go to their markets as most of them who normally leave in the morning for their markets were sighted on their streets discussing the protest which IPOB declared earlier in the week they will embark on.
Onitsha Main Market, Ochanja Central Market Onitsha, New Tire Market Nkpor, New Auto Spare Parts Market Nkpor, Building Materials Market Ogidi, Ugwuagba Market Obosi, Electronics Market Onitsha, Bridge Head Market Onitsha that has over 21 markets attached to it and other small markets in and outside Onitsha, were all shut down.
Even shop along the streets of Onitsha, and its environs, including Awka Road, New Market Road, Old Market Road, Oguta Road, Limca Road, Iweka Road and Modebe Road, DSokoto Road and Haruna Street lock up shops were also seen under lock and keys.
The IPOB members numbering over 30,000 were earlier seen gathered at Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu Statue by Niger Bridge Head, also known as Odumegwu Ojukwu Gateway, Niger Bridge Head Onitsha chanting and dancing Pro Ojukwu and Biafran songs, from where they marched peacefully to down to Upper Iweka Flyover.
They were seen marching from Upper Iweka Flyover to Onitsha Owerri Road, to Nkpor Junction, Ochanja Central Market, Onitsha Main Market, Old and New Market Roads Onitsha, chanting anti Federal Government, Police, Army and Navy songs, demanding the release of Mr. Kanu, whom they said is being incarcerated for over three weeks now, and the continued arrest and detention of their members and actualization of Biafra activists.
There was unusual presence of the police on the major roads and streets of Onitsha, but their presence did not deter the protesting IPOB members who were also cautious of the behavior of their members to the road users and petty traders who wanted to cash in on the closure of markets and big stores and shops to do brisk business.
IPOB members who wanted to be unruly on the road users were promptly shouted on and cautioned by their leaders to behave well, that molestation and dispossessing people of their property and goods, looting of people’s shops and property was not part of their agenda.
The protest was largely peaceful as there were no information of any clash between the Police and the protesting IPOB members, until around 2.30 pm when Vanguard gathered that one person was shot at the Ochanja Roundabout by the police.