On Monday, 26th July, during the trial of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Abuja, most traders didn’t open their shops in a spirit of solidarity for their leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
On Tuesday 27th July, the traders at the timber and building materials markets in Orlu, Imo state, were prevented from opening their shops. The action was taken by military personnel who mounted a roadblock in front of the markets preventing them from having access to their shops.
The soldiers, who were manning a checkpoint close to the two big markets in Orlu, prevented the traders from opening their shops for any trading activity. It was not clear if the soldiers’ action was in reaction to the traders’ boycott of their business premises the previous day but our guess is that this is the case.
Their actions left the traders stranded. A particular trader spoke on the issue. He wished anonymosity but offered a statement;
“We didn’t even get into the markets because the gates to the building materials and Timber Market were under lock and key. The soldiers told us that we won’t be allowed to open shop till further notice.”
The chairman of the markets, Emmanuel Ibegbulem, who confirmed the development, said he would make a formal complaint at the Imo state ministry of commerce and industry.
The spokesperson for the 34 Artillery Brigade Command, Obinze Owerri, Babatude Zubiruo, said that he was not aware of the development when he was contacted.