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Thursday, 3 December 2015

Biafra protest: Northern traders flee South-East

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As the protest by pro-Biafra separatists continue unabated, Nigerians from the northern part of the country are fleeing from the South-East in droves for fear of being caught in the centre of the crisis.
Most of them residing in Onitsha, Nnewi and other South-Eastern cities doing business have hurriedly relocated to Asaba, Delta State capital seeking refuge.
Pro-Biafra protesters led by member of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) had last Monday intensified the protest in demand for the release of the Director of Radio Biafra, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu by locking down the South-East.
They barricaded the Onitsha end of the River Niger Bridge in Anambra State preventing travelers from going to the East.
The situation has thus instigated anxiety among the settlers from the northern part of the country who are now leaving for Asaba where they feel a sense of security at least for now.
The fear-stricken traders are now taking refuge at the popular Abraka Market in Asaba, with the possibility of continuing the homeward journey to the north as they were seen with their belongings scattered all over the place making frantic efforts to raise money.
Suleiman Adamu, one of the affected traders lamented that he left all his property behind in Onitsha as he was afraid that he might be attacked by the pro-Biafran activists, adding that he slept in the home overnight.

Adamu who sells onions in a wheelbarrow at the Onitsha end of the Niger Bridge Head vowed not to return to Anambra State until the government takes drastic steps against the secessionist movement.

“I have to run from Onitsha following the daily protests by the people. I was afraid that I could be killed. My friend was molested and abused. I have to run for my life,” he said in smattering English.

Another trade who simply gave his name as Nenadi confessed that he was not comfortable staying in Onitsha as the protesters threatened to harm him or throw him into the River Niger if he does not relocate.

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