BY SUNNY DAVID
Commercial activities were grounded in parts of Anambra state on Monday as trial of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra was to hold in Abuja.
Passengers were also stranded at various parks as the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB allegedly blocked movement of vehicles in and out of the major cities of the state.
As early as 6am, they blocked entrance and exit into or out of the commercial city of Onitsha and the industrial town of Nnewi forcing residents and visitors to stay at home in honour of their leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
Also shops and markets in Onitsha and Nnewi were shutdown in solidarity with Nnamdi Kanu.
A source in Onitsha said youths suspected to be members of IPOB made bonfire in most streets in Onitsha, while also forcing vehicles entering the city to return.
While at Nnewi, the youths also made bornfire with tyres and others in the area and forcing people to close their shops and markets.
Nnamdi Kanu was expected to be in court on Monday morning for commencement of trial on his case, after he left the country in 2017.
Kanu had been arrested in Kenya in June through the aid of Interpol and extradited to Nigeria to face trial.
Video circulating on the social media showed that shops, markets and offices were locked in Onitsha, while streets were deserted.
Our correspondent gathered that youths suspected to be IPOB members were smashing cars belonging to motorists who attempted entering into the city of Onitsha.
A trader in Onitsha main market, Mr. Michael Okonkwo, said, “We heard it yesterday as a rumour that there will not be market on Monday, but this morning we found out that people were making bonfire everywhere in the city.
“Nobody has spoken to us about what is happening, but we learnt that it is IPOB that is trying for force people to stay at home in solidarity with Nnamdi Kanu who is appearing in court today.”
In Awka, the capital city of Anambra state, our correspondent who moved round found that commercial activities were going on without hitches, but those moving out of the city have no vehicles to travel with.
One of the Onitsha bound stranded passengers in Awka, Mr. Ifeanyi Nwanna, said that he had important assignment in Onitsha but cannot go again because roads were blocked by IPOB members.
“I came out here this morning to go to Onitsha for an important assignment only to discover that no vehicle was going to Onitsha. Drivers said they are not working because they want to support Nnamdi Kanu,” he said.
Reacting, the Anambra State Police Command Spokesman, DSP Ikenga Tochukwu, said that the police and locals in the cities have cleared the bornfire and normalcy has returned.
According to him, the command is in charge and it is working to ensure that there no breakdown of law and order in the state.