Soldiers on Tuesday prevented traders at the Timber and Building Materials markets in Orlu, Imo State, to open for the day’s business.
Most of the traders in the two markets had on Monday refused to open their shops in solidarity with the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, who is facing terrorism-related charges at the Federal High court in Abuja.
The soldiers, who were manning a checkpoint close to the two big markets in Orlu, barred the traders from opening their shops for any commercial activity.
The traders said that the soldiers ordered the gatemen at the entrances of the two big markets not to open the gates.
While the military continued with their stop and search duty in front of the two markets, traders who came as early as 7am met the entrance gates of the two markets under lock and key.
One of the traders told newsmen that he was unable to access his shop on Tuesday when he came for the day’s engagement.
The trader, who didn’t want his identity revealed, said, “Yesterday, almost everybody didn’t open for business in solidarity with Nnamdi Kanu. As we came today, soldiers prevented us from opening the two markets. We didn’t even get into the markets because the gates to the building materials and Timber Market were under lock and key. The soldiers told us that we won’t be allowed to open shop till further notice.”
The chairman of markets, Emmanuel Ibegbulem, who confirmed the development to our correspondent in a telephone conversation, said that he was on his way to the state ministry of commerce and industry.
The spokesperson for the 34 Artillery Brigade Command, Obinze Owerri, Babatude Zubiruo, when contacted, said that he was not aware of the development.