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(Sit-at-home)Fatalities reported as Enugu market traders protest shop closures: 3 dead.

Police have officially confirmed the death of two officers in Aba following an attack by gunmen on the Abia Commissioner.

Yesterday in Enugu State, the situation became more tense as three residents were reportedly killed by an anti-riot police squad. The police were attempting to forcefully disperse traders at Ogbete Main Market who were protesting the closure of 106 shops and two banks by the Enugu State Government. Similarly, in Abia State, the Nigeria Police confirmed that two of its personnel were killed in Aba by unidentified gunmen on the same day.

Enugu traders staged a protest against the state government’s decision to seal their shops due to their adherence to a sit-at-home order issued by Simon Ekpa, who is based in Finland. The traders expressed their fear of attending markets as they noticed a lack of visible security personnel from their respective areas to provide them with reassurance and encouragement to resume normal business activities.

Additionally, it was discovered that numerous other traders suffered different levels of gunshot injuries. As a reminder, the Enugu State government took action on Monday by sealing the shops of traders who had not opened their businesses that day.

According to an eyewitness account, the Ogbete traders, who felt wronged due to the unlawful closure of their shops, were peacefully protesting within the market premises. However, the situation took a turn when the police intervened and began firing shots into the air.

Here is what they said “We are angry. To open shop is not by force. State Government should leave us alone to do our business.”

One of the traders popularly known as Lasisi,Had this to say “they have been shooting and killing people in the market here. The traders started protesting here because those whose shops were closed, because of the sit-at-home, were asked to pay money before their shops will be reopened. They said they will not part with any money and that was how the protest started.

“The protesters started making bonfires on the roads and the police moved armoured tanks into the market, started indiscriminate shooting and killing people. Some got bullet injuries and others got different forms of wounds. Teargas was being shot and pandamonium ensured,” he narrated.In a bid to douse tension and maintain peace, the police deployed armoured personnel carriers around the market and other strategic locations.

In a statement the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Daniel Ndukwe, stated that even as he did not have a comprehensive report on the matter, normalcy was returning to the market and that the police were still there to maintain peace.

“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,” Daniel Ndukwe, the command’s spokesman, said.

Police have verified the deaths of two officers in Aba following an assault by gunmen targeting the Abia Commissioner.

According to ASP Maureen Chinaka, the Police Public Relations Officer of the Command, gunmen attacked the convoy of Dr. Chimezie Ukaegbu, the Abia Commissioner for Trade, Commerce, and Investment on Tuesday evening. During the attack, an Inspector and a Constable were tragically killed.

The incident that took place at Samek Junction, connecting the Ariaria International Market, led to significant panic, resulting in all traders who were occupying the area abandoning it as of Wednesday morning.