Soldiers shut Imo market, ask traders to stay away ‘until Biafra is achieved’

Some soldiers on Tuesday stopped traders at the timber and building material market in Orlu, Imo state, from opening for business.

A trader in the market who chose to remain anonymous confirmed the development to TheCable.

“They prevented people from opening their shades, mainly timber market and building material,” he said.

A source told TheCable that the traders were not allowed to open their shops because they closed operations on Monday in solidarity with Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), who was meant to appear at a federal high court in Abuja.

The soldiers were said to have asked the traders to “stay at home until Biafra Republic is attained” before they can resume their trading activities.

When contacted on the development, Mike Abatem, police spokesperson in Imo, said he cannot speak on the matter. He said questions should be directed to the army spokesperson in the state.

Babatunde Zubiruo, spokesperson, 34 artillery brigade command in Imo, abruptly ended a telephone conversation with TheCable after the issue was raised. Subsequent text messages sent to his phone received no response.

Kanu is facing charges bordering on treasonable felony brought against him by the federal government over his campaign for the Republic of Biafra.

He was released in April 2017 on health grounds but jumped bail after flouting some of the conditions given to him by the court.

Kanu was re-arraigned before Binta Nyako of the federal high court in Abuja on June 29 after being intercepted and extradited to Nigeria. His trial was adjourned till July 26 for a hearing.

The trial has now been adjourned till October 21, owing to the failure of the federal government to produce him in court on Monday.

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