Enugu State Police Command says it has commenced investigation into the reports of Wednesday morning protest by Ogbete market traders in which casualty was recorded
The traders had protested the sealing of their shops by the Enugu Capital Territory Development Agency ( ECTDA) for not complying with the state government’s directive ending the illegal Monday sit-at-home order given by a factional leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra ,Simon Ekpa.
The state Governor, Dr Peter Mbah, penultimate Monday, monitored level of compliance by traders and workers in the state. He warned that traders who failed to open their shops would have their shops sealed, an enforcement that was carried out last Monday, July 24,2023
The state government had also said that the sealed shops be remained sealed for one week after which the affected shop owners will provide current tax clearance certificate and other relevant revenue documents for consideration
It was gathered that traders whose shops were sealed on Monday by the state government came to market yesterday (Tuesday) and removed the sticker and conducted their businesses.
As a result , the market union executives went round the market to padlock the shops that were sealed on Monday. When the affected traders came to market today, they discovered that their shops were locked with another padlock, and they started a peaceful protest demanding that their shops be opened.
An eye witness said that ” as the protest was going on, police came and started driving people away, and in the process one boy was shot dead and two persons injured,” he said
In a statement made available to Newsmen on Wednesday ,July 26, the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Daniel Ndukwe said that normalcy has been restored and that , “full-scale investigation has been initiated on the orders of the Commissioner of Police, Ahmad Ammani
The statement read :
“Normalcy has been restored at Ogbete Market Enugu and its surroundings, following the report of protest by some traders over the sealing of their shops by the State Government and their attempt to force others, whose shops were not sealed, to close theirs and the entire market closed. The initially peaceful protest was hijacked and made to become violent.
“Traders in the market and citizens alike have been pleaded with to remain law-abiding, peaceful and cooperative, while using approved channels to express their grievances.
“Full-scale investigation has been initiated on the orders of the Commissioner of Police, while further development, especially as it concerns reports of casualties being circulated, will be communicated as soon as possible, please”, Ndukwe said .
Autjor: Maureen Ikpeama