For the second time in 13 days, all the major markets in Anambra State were Thursday shut by the leadership of the traders in protest against the relocation of some Boko Haram detainees to Ekwulobia Prison in Aguata local government area of the state.
Today’s closure of the markets came on the heels of a high powered security meeting held in Awka between Governor Wilie Obiano and an official from the office of the National Security Adviser, on the possible withdrawal of the Boko Haram detainees from Anambra.
Also, the presidents’ general of the 177 communities in the state issued a statement describing as shocking and embarrassing the news that the Nigeria Prisons Service had transferred some detainees of the dreaded suspected terrorists to Ekwulobia.
Many traders from outside Anambra State who arrived Onitsha early to make their purchases were taken aback when the traders’ security operatives informed them that all the markets in the South East geo-political zone were closed down to dive home their opposition to the relocation of the Boko Haram suspects to Anambra State.
Some of the Onitsha traders, who were unaware of the closure, came early to open their shops, but were turned back by the market security personnel. The closure however did not affect those trading on the streets as they were doing their businesses unmolested.
In Awka however, some traders initially tried to challenge security operators for forcing them to close markets, but order was restored after some heated arguments and they allowed to display their wares.
The president of Anambra State Amalgamated Traders Association, ASMATA, Okwudili Chief Ezenwankwo later led other officials to Ekwulobia where they were expected to march through the streets.
Meanwhile, Governor Obiano hinted after the meeting with a representative of the National Secirity Adviser that the Boko Haram detainees would soon be withdrawn from Anambra State.