By Chinonso Alozie, Owerri
Timber marketers in Orlu Local Government Area of Imo State, on Tuesday, protested the shutting down of their market by soldiers, who were said to have told the traders “stay away from the market until the Republic of Biafra is realised” since the traders refused to open for business on Monday over Nnamdi Kanu’s trial.
The timber marketers were seen protesting along Owerri-Orlu road when they discovered that the road leading to the market had been barricaded by soldiers.
Some of the protesting timber traders, who spoke to newsmen in Orlu, said they were demanding the soldiers open the roadblock for them to start their business.
According to them, “We came in on Tuesday morning to start business and we saw that the road leading to our shops have been closed.
“We are asking why are our shops closed and nobody is talking to us. And why should the military blocked the road?
“We want them to open the road so that we can begin our business. That is why we are protesting.”
However, when Vanguard probed further, one of them said: “On Monday, we got a report that those who attacked Omuma in Oru East Local Government Area came from the timber market, were members of Eastern Security Network, ESN, and that the security operatives have been investigating the issues.
“We have also been told that the market was shut because we obeyed the sit-at-home order on the day Nnamdi Kanu appeared in court.”
Meanwhile, the 34 Artillery Brigade Command Obinze, Army Public Relations Officer, Babatunde Zubiru, did not answer calls to his phone line to react to the allegation that Army shut down the market over the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu’s trial.