*Obiano declares 24-hour curfew
Palpable fear gripped residents of the commercial city of Onitsha and environs of Anambra state on Thursday, prompting markets, schools, financial institutions and government establishments to shutdown as ENDSARS protesters took over the streets.
Gov. Willie Obiano in a timely intervention has imposed a 24 hour curfew in the state with effect from 8pm until the rising tension is brought under control.
The governor also earmarked N200 million compensation for families and victims of disbanded SARS/police brutality, upon recommendation by the Judicial Panel of Inquiry.
The early hours of the day protest had prompted residents of the area including school children and traders to stay doors as irate youths made bonefires in strategic positions.
Students/pupils who managed to get to their schools were turned back by their school authorities even as most of the teachers and students who envisaged the ugly development did not attend school.
The ever-busy Onitsha/Enugu expressway from Onitsha to Ogbunike building material market was deserted and the market shutdown.
The popular Onitsha Main market was among the markets shutdown and
the usual traffic grid-lock at the Niger Bridge subsided as security personnel causing the grid-lock were nowhere to be seen probably for fear of being attacked by the EndSARS protesters who stormed the area the previous day.
Offices, shops, banks, courts, petrol filling stations, local government councils and motor parts were not left out in the shutdown.
Bonefires were made with used tyres at Ogbonmanu, Nkpor junctions, Borromew round-about, Obodoukwu/Owerri road junction, Ochanja round-about, Oguta road/Modebe (Ekene junction), Bida/Modebe junction, among others.
An Okpoko resident who pleaded anonymity said “there were bonefires everywhere in Obodoukwu road the previous day and the youths vowed to set the Okpoko police station ablaze”
“Today (yesterday) the police did not come out to extort money and make illegal arrest along the Obodoukwu/Owerri road junction, they are inside the barracks for fear of being attacked by the EndSARS protesters” he stated further.
As at the time of filing this report, EndSARS protesters have besieged
Awada layout and were chanting anti police songs as they headed
towards the ABS radio Station while others were reported to be
heading to Okpoko police station.
There was tension in Nnewi also following the razing of the Central Police Station in the area by hoodlums, while the 3-3 Onitsha was touched today.
One person was allegedly feared dead during the incident in Nnewi, which occurred around 11pm on Wednesday.
The state governor had also anmounced all schools and markets in the state closed.
Obiano said gatherings by groups and associations under any name or label from 8pmare banned. The law enforcement agencies in the state have been duly directed to enforce compliance.
However, all law enforcement officers charged with ensuring compliance to the restriction on movement must resist the temptation of applying excessive force while attempting to bring the situation under control.
“We cannot afford to repeat the same mistakes that created the problem we are trying to solve in the first place,” Obiano said.
He assured the non-indigenes living in the state of their safety and security.