BREAKING: War Rocks Enugu Over Sit-At-Home, Many Traders Killed, Wounded
Two traders have been reportedly killed in a protest following the indefinite closure of Ogbete Main Market in Enugu State by Governor Peter Mbah over noncompliance with his ban on sit-at-home.
Several other people were also injured.
Naija News House reported on Monday that the embattled Governor Mbah-led government had declared war on residents and private businesses that fail to open for business on Mondays.
It was reported that Governor Mbah ordered the sealing of several shops, malls and banks on Monday, which he accused of observing “illegal sit-at-home” called for by a Nigerian separatist living in Finland, Simon Ekpa.
Justifying the sealing of private businesses, Governor Mbah in a statement issued on Tuesday, which was signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof Chidiebere Onyia said that businesses sealed on Monday would be closed for one week.
He also imposed that owners of businesses sealed must provide their current tax clearance certificates and all other relevant revenue documents at the end of one week to enable the state government to review and consider their formal letters for re-opening otherwise they would be auctioned off or permanently forfeited to the state government.
However, it gathered on Wednesday morning that trouble started when traders whose shops were sealed told the market leadership that their shops must be unsealed for business or those unsealed would not open for business.
A trader in the market, Gerald Uzu told SaharaReporters that there was a protest on Wednesday following the insistence of some traders that their shops must be opened or there would be no trading in the market.
“Shortly, soldiers and hundreds of policemen were deployed to the market by the governor. They came in and started shooting and locking up shops. The soldiers shot two traders dead inside the market. I escaped unhurt by only the Grace of God,” he said.
A policeman who was at the scene of the incident confirmed the development in a telephone interview.
According to the police officer, the governor has shut down Ogbete Main Market indefinitely.
“I am in the market with my DPO, soldiers and so many other security agents. Ogbete Main Market has been totally shut down. There is no single soul in the market as I speak to you. I don’t think Ogbete Main Market will be opened again.
“Information reaching me now is that two traders have been shot dead by soldiers in front of the market. It is regrettable but I think the governor is not handling the sit-at-home situation well.”