Angry protesters virtually shutdown Enugu metropolis Wednesday taking over some areas in continuation of the nationwide #EndSARS protest.
The protesters who came out in their numbers blocked Abakpa, Nike, Nike Lake and Liberty Roads.
Also blocked were NOWAS, Trans Ekulu and Emene areas in the metropolis. Tyres were set on fire and used to block major roads.
This hampered movement and virtually shutdown business activities in affected areas of the town.
The Abakpa market was shut down for most parts of the day, same as the timber market also in Abakpa area.
The situation caused fear in the area as residents and business owners scampered for safety.
At Emene, shop owners ran helter skelter in fear and closed shops in anticipation of the protesters who had also set up burn fire at some locations
Business owners and banks around Ogui Road and Okpara Avenue, among others, closed for fear of being attacked.
Military personnel had, however, taken over the popular Okpara Square where the #EndSARS protesters usually gathered every morning. No protester was seen around the area, which is close to Government House.
A heavy military presence was also witnessed at the entrance of the Enugu airport.
A resident of Transekulu area, Joseph Ogbu, told our correspondent that no vehicle was allowed to pass through Trans Ekulu, Abakpa and Nike Area as the roads were all blocked.
He said “I was in my office when I saw people running helter scatter and immediately we came out, we saw the protesters coming towards our office so we hurriedly close office.
“We were told that the angry protesters were destroying vehicles and people’s shops around Nike area.
“The situation is becoming worse, Government need to act very fast to avert blood shed in the state. Only God will save us because with the situation now, we can’t sleep with our two eyes closed again.”
Also, a trader at Ogui Road, Nkechi Onu, said she was in her shop when they got the news of what was happening in Abakpa and they hurriedly closed their shops.
“Even though the protesters are yet to get to our area but we need to stay safe in order not to fall victim of their attack so that’s why we closed our shops,” she said.
Meanwhile, two persons were feared killed with many injured as some of the protesters allegedly clashed with security operatives.
Popular Rapper, Zoro, in a post on social media alleged that security agencies killed two persons in the city.
He wrote “Two people were shot and killed in Enugu today. One by the Nigerian Airforce and one by the Nigerian police. About four people were injured and I have tried to know their whereabouts to no avail.Dm me if you have any information about the victims.”
The musician, who led the protest, further called on the youth to be peaceful in their protests.
“They TRIGGERED us, they pushed us down with the wall, they messed with our tempo, they want us to react out of frustration, so we come without thinking, so it’s easy for them to crash us, they are still TRIGGERING us,
don’t let their plans work ! #EndSarsNow”.
“My Enugu people I beg una , make we calm down , make we use our head fight this fight ,we are peaceful people, E Dey hard make we vex and I know say we Dey vex rn kpiyo nu kaka make we go house re-strategize. WE CAN WIN THIS FIGHT ALIVE ! 🙏🏿 #EnSARS”, he wrote.
PREMIUM TIMES could not independently confirm if anyone was indeed killed.
The spokesman of the police in Enugu, Daniel Ndukwe, could not be reached for comments at the time of this report despite several attempts.
Enugu govt imposes curfew
To ensure a stop in violence, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State ordered the imposition of 24-hour curfew in Enugu East, Enugu North and Enugu South Local Government Areas, effective from 7 p.m. Wednesday, until further notice.
The order was contained in a statement on Wednesday, signed by the Commissioner for Information, Nnanyelugo Aroh.
Mr Aroh stated that the decision “followed the observed hijack of #EndSARS protests, which had been peaceful in the past days, by miscreants who plan to unleash mayhem”.
He added that “the Governor of Enugu State in fulfilment of his primary responsibility of protection of lives and property of all law-abiding residents in the state has therefore, ordered the imposition of the curfew in the above mentioned local governments, until further notice”.
According to the information commissioner, “parents/guardians are enjoined to prevail on their wards to desist from any unlawful conduct while the youth in Enugu State are also urged to remain calm and law-abiding as Enugu State Government has taken steps to address the issues at stake, including the inauguration of a Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Police brutality and related extra-judicial killings earlier this afternoon.”