Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 10 July 2015 | 3,623 times
In a solidarity protest of the recent transfer of 47 Boko Haram prisoners to Ekwulobia prison in Anambra State, all the major markets in the South East geopolitical zone were yesterday shut from business.
The one day protest was agreed upon during a well-attended meeting of the South East Amalgamated Traders Association held at 52 Modebe Street in the commercial city of Onitsha on Saturday, July 4.
News Express gathered that participants at the meeting drawn from various traders’ unions and associations in the South Eastern states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo, strongly condemned the transfer of the Boko Haram prisoners to Ekwulobia prison, and called on President Mohammadu Buhari to, as a matter of urgency, relocated them from Igbo land.
One of the traders, Emmanuel Akubude from Enugu State said, “At our meeting in Onitsha last Saturday, many participants were very angry over the alleged attempt by the Federal Government to spread terrorism and terrorists to Igbo land. We have made it clear that we don’t want Boko Haram prisoners anywhere in the South East and the government has no reason whatsoever to bring them here. Their plan is to expose us to danger and we must resist it.”
It was also gathered that business at Ogbete Main Market, Kenyatta Market and Gariki Market, all in Enugu State were yesterday paralysed following the total shut down.
Same report was recorded at Ebonyi and Imo as the traders joined the peaceful protest. However, it was learnt that traders in Abia went about their normal business.
The one-day protest was part of the ongoing resistance and public outcries against the transfer of the Boko Haram prisoners to Ekwulobia prison.
Tension has been heightening since the relocation of the prisoners with several groups and organisations demanding their immediate removal from the South East.
But on Wednesday evening, the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano after rising from a closed-door meeting with a delegation from Abuja, said that the situation would soon be resolved.
Meanwhile, the government has beefed up security around the Ekwulobia prison by deploying armed soldiers shortly after the arrival of the Boko Haram prisoners in the town where Federal Polytechnic Oko is located.
•Photo shows some of the protesting traders . . . yesterday in Ekwulobia.
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