The protest came barely 48 hours after the state government sealed off some shops for non-compliance with its directive banning the sit-at-home order by IPOB.
Traders on Wednesday, July 26, 2023, protest the sealing of shops by the Enugu State Government over the illegal IPOB sit-at-home order.
The traders on Wednesday morning took to the street to protest the sealing of their shops for non-compliance with the state government’s order banning the Monday sit-at-home. The protest however turned violent.
According to the government and the police, an investigation is ongoing to fish out those who caused the chaos.
The protest came barely 48 hours after the state government sealed off some shops in Ogbete Main Market for non-compliance with its directive banning the sit-at-home order by the members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The Secretary to the State Government, Chidiebere Onyia, who led the team, said the idea behind the exercise was to demonstrate the government’s commitment towards ending the unlawful holiday in the state.
But the initiative did not sit well with the affected traders who proceeded to remove the seals, leading to a disagreement with market leaders and ultimately a full-blown protest.
The affected shop owners took to the streets to express their grievances against the government’s directives with singing and chanting.
The protest, which began as a peaceful demonstration at the market with plans to terminate at the Government House, turned violent within minutes.
According to a report signed by the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Daniel Ndukwe, the protest was infiltrated and hijacked by dangerously armed hoodlums and miscreants, who broke shops and looted traders’ wares.
Attempts by security operatives to restore order and prevent further looting were violently resisted by the hoodlums. Although the police have yet to comment on the number of casualties, eyewitnesses stated that the deaths were recorded during a face-off with the police.
The government however called on the people and residents of Enugu to remain calm and go about their lawful business, adding that adequate security measures were in place to secure lives and property in the state.