The gunmen terrorising Nigeria’s South-east have declared a two-day lockdown throughout the area to protest President Muhammadu Buhari‘s go to to Ebonyi State.
The phobia group made the declaration after they visited the Ariaria Worldwide Market, Aba, the business hub of Abia State, on Wednesday.
In addition they reportedly made the announcement in different states within the area.
The group was stated to have requested residents of the area to remain indoors between Thursday and Friday (Right now).
The declaration got here lower than 24 hours to the scheduled two-day go to of President Muhammadu Buhari to Ebonyi State to fee a number of initiatives executed by Governor Dave Umahi’s administration.
Mr Umahi had stated the president’s go to would final between Thursday, Could 5 and Friday, Could 6, for the commissioning of the initiatives.
How residents hailed, cheered the gunmen
A video clip of the gunmen on the market has gone viral on varied social media platforms.
Within the 30-second clip, obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, the gunmen, numbering about 50, lined up in a bit of the market, whereas certainly one of them addressed congregated merchants.
This newspaper couldn’t hear what the gunmen stated because the audio high quality of the clip was poor.
However, a store proprietor, out there, Ifeanyi Chukwu, instructed PREMIUM TIMES that the gunmen stated the order was declared to make sure that residents don’t welcome Mr Buahri.
Wielding heavy rifles and sporting masks on their faces, the gunmen shortly departed the market in a procession-like type. Most of them had been clad in black apparel
Some merchants had been heard hailing and clapping for the gunmen whereas they moved out of the market.
“Odogwu, Odogwu,” a voice was heard within the video apparently hailing the gunmen.
The phrase, “Odogwu” is an Igbo expression for the nice one or an ideal individuals.
“Unknown gunmen!” one other voice was heard from the gang hailing the phobia group.
“Energy, energy,” one other voice from the gang stated.
Many residents defy order on first day
Regardless of the declaration of the lockdown by the group, nearly all of the residents of South-east ignored the order on Thursday.
Financial actions went on unhindered. Markets, filling stations and banks opened for enterprise in varied components of the area.
Some residents within the area who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES confirmed that roads had been busy with each human and vehicular visitors.
The sit-at-home order was, nevertheless, obeyed on Thursday in Aba, the business hub of Abia State.
Ariaria Worldwide Market, the place the gunmen visited, didn’t open for enterprise.
“We didn’t open yesterday (Thursday). We aren’t certain of at the moment,” a store proprietor out there, who requested to not be talked about, stated Friday morning.
“The truth is, the entire of Aba was shut down yesterday,” he stated, questioning why merchants within the space had been made to undergo due to the president’s go to to a different state.
The gunmen, believed to be a part of Biafra agitation, had launched a video the place they threatened to disrupt the 2023 normal elections within the South-east.
They’re suspected to be the gunmen implementing the suspended sit-at-home order in Nigeria’s South-east.
Insecurity has deteriorated within the area with assaults reported virtually each day throughout the 5 states of the area. The states are Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Imo and Enugu.
The assaults usually goal safety businesses and authorities services.
The Nigerian authorities had accused IPOB of being accountable for the assaults within the area. However the separatist group has repeatedly denied involvement within the assaults.
IPOB is main the agitation for an unbiased state of Biafra to be carved out from the South-east and a few components of the South-south Nigeria.
The chief of the separatist group, Nnamdi Kanu, is presently being detained in Abuja the place he’s going through trial for alleged treason.
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