By Chimaobi Nwaiwu, Nnewi
The resumed trial of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi, Monday, grounded commercial activities in Onitsha, Nbeu and their environs like Ogidi, Nkpor, Nsugbe, Nkwelke, Ezunaka, Obosi and Oba, Ozubulu, Oraifeite, Nnobi, and Akwaukwu, as all the markets in the area closed down, while banks and Federal Government agencies equally shut for business.
Some of the markets in Onitsha, such as Onitsha Main Market, Ochanja Central Market, Oseokwodu Markets, over 27 markets under Bridge Head Markets, Onitsha Medicine Market, popularly known as Ogbo Ogwu Market, Biafra Market Onitsha, New Spare Parts Nkpor, Old Motor Parts Nkpor, Old Motor Spare Parts Obosi, New Tyre Market Nkpor all in Onitsha and its environs, and Nkwo Nnewi Market, Obi Nsoedo Market, Motor Spare Parts Nnewi, Motorcycle Spare Part Nnewi, and Timber Market also in Nnewi were all shut down as the roads in the industrial city was also deserted.
All the major roads in Onitsha including the Onitsha-Enugu expressway, Onitsha-Owerri expressway, Oba-Nnewi-Okigwe expressway, Old and New Market roads Onitsha, Awka and Oguta road, and many others were a ghost of themselves as street markets on the roads were under lock and key.
There was, however, no formal directive by the leadership of IPOB, for markets and business activities not to open, but Vanguard gathered that the markets in the state shut in solidarity for the IPOB and its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, over his alleged abduction, extradition and resumed trial in Federal High Court Abuja.
There was no protest, street, or road processions, but bonfires were sighted in some strategic areas like Awada Obosi, Upper Iweka Onitsha, Oba new and Old road, Old road Nkpor, Obosi, and Ogidi roads.
However, some Federal Government agencies like Federal Inland Revenue Services, FIRS, National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA, were under lock and key, while all the commercial banks in the city shut their premises for business when Vanguard moved around Onitsha, Nnewi, and their environs.
However, the Police, Army, and Naval officials were sighted moving around Onitsha, to ensure there is no breakdown of law and order, however, some newspaper dispatch officials going to Awka, Nnewi, and Ekwulobia in Aguata Local Government Area, were turned back by the Police and soldiers for their safety.
Entry from Asaba, Awka, and Owerri was made difficult by both Army and Police roadblocks and bonfires made by youths suspected to be members of IPOB, at Nkpor junction, Onitsha Owerri road, and Niger Bridge Head Onitsha.