Soldiers blocked vendors at the Timber and Building Materials markets in Orlu, Imo State, from opening for the day on Tuesday.
Most shopkeepers in the two marketplaces refused to open their doors on Monday in solidarity with Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, who is facing terrorism-related charges at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
The troops, who were stationed near Orlu’s two main marketplaces, prohibited the shopkeepers from opening their stores for any economic activity.
The vendors told our correspondent that the military instructed the gatemen at the entrances to the two major marketplaces not to open the gates.
While the soldiers resumed their stop and search duties in front of the two marketplaces, traders who arrived as early as 7 a.m. found the entry gates to both markets locked and barred.
One of the merchants told Gistz that when he arrived for the day’s engagement on Tuesday, he was unable to access his business.
“Yesterday, virtually nobody opened for business in solidarity with Nnamdi Kanu,” claimed the shopkeeper, who did not want his identity known. Soldiers blocked us from opening the two markets when we arrived today. We couldn’t even enter the marketplaces since the doors to the building materials and timber markets were locked. The military informed us that we would not be permitted to open business until further notice. “
Emmanuel Ibegbulem, the chairman of markets, verified the situation to our correspondent over the phone and said he was on his way to the state ministry of trade and industry.
When contacted, Babatude Zubiruo, the spokesman for the 34 Artillery Brigade Command in Obinze Owerri, claimed he was unaware of the event.