Scores of traders at Nkwo Nnewi market, Anambra State, on Saturday closed shops in protest against the police who allegedly arrested some of them on Friday after a clash between the police and members of the Indigenous People of Biafra.
The clash claimed some lives while a police van and other property were set ablaze.
The traders who converged on the central park of the market carried placards with various inscriptions, including, “Release our members, they are not IPOB members; “IPOB members came in through our gates open for business; “Governor Obiano hear our cry, innocent traders and servants were all arrested; “Nnewi Police Area Commander, Anambra State Commissioner of Police, the Inspector General of Police come to our rescue; “we are not criminals, we are traders doing our legitimate business.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Haruna Mohammed, in a statement said 34 IPOB members were arrested in the Friday fracas.
Speaking with the press, the Chairman of Motor Spare Parts Dealers Association, Gabriel Chibueze, alleged that over 20 were indiscriminately arrested.
While calling for their release, Chibueze contended that the arrests were made at the motor spare parts market two hours after the clash between the police and members of the IPOB at another section of the market.
He said, “We are not involved in the police attack. We were doing our legitimate business at Nkwo Nnewi when members of the IPOB entered our market.
“We never invited them and they never told us they were coming. We were confused that after the incident police began to arrest everyone they saw in the market. We are not criminals or lawbreakers.
He appealed to Nnewi Police Area Commander, the Anambra State Commissioner of Police, the Inspector General of Police and Governor Obiano to order the immediate release of the Nnewi traders.