Again, IPOB protesters shut down Onitsha
Commercial activities in Onitsha, Anambra State, were grounded to a halt for over eight hours yesterday, following protests by more than 20,000 members and sympathisers of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), seeking the release of the Director of Radio Biafra, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu.
The protesters also disrupted vehicular movement, as they marched from the Niger Bridge Head to the former Ogbunike Toll gate, carrying placards with inscriptions and forming a thick human crowd to spell K-A-N-U, a process that blocked the Niger Bridge.
Traders in solidarity closed shops at major markets, including the Bridge Head, Onitsha patent and proprietary medicine dealers market, Ochanja, all in Onitsha; New auto spare parts and new tyre markets, Nkpor, building materials market and bakery market in Ogidi.
Also, all the markets and shops along New Market Road were shut down in solidarity.
However, normalcy was restored on the bridge after they left the area, moving to other parts of Onitsha, but without violence.
The attempt by the military to disperse them failed. The military showed professionalism, and carefully implored them to free the road for other users.
The Onitsha-Owerri Road was equally taken over, as the protesting IPOB members blocked the area, making movement difficult for road users.
Speaking with newsmen National Coordinator of IPOB, Mr Chidiebere Onwudiwe, in the company of Comrade Emma Powerful, said that the protest was because of the continued detention of Mr Kanu by the Department of State Security (DSS), and the continued marginalisation of the South East, warning that the protest will continue today (Wednesday).
Comrade Powerful told newsmen that they were not protesting against people who are into genuine business, adding that there is no reason to attack anybody, or invade shops.