There was chaos in the coal city, Enugu as Fulani Cattle traders at the New Artisan Market resisted government officials, who were directed to demolish the market, with AK-47.
According to Punch, it all started when officials of the State government went to demolish the New Artisan Market, following an order from the State High Court, who had declared the market a security threat because of its proximity to the Government House.
However, the traders repelled the attempt of the government officials to execute the order. They were shooting randomly, with AK-47, chasing the officials and the police attached to them.
Confirming the incident, an eyewitness, Sampson Okorie, said the gun-welding traders also seized two bulldozers, deployed by the State government to the market, and destroyed the Police Hilux vehicle.
The vehicle, according to him, were abandoned by the police officers, who ran for their life, when they could not escape with it.
He said, “I was opposite the market, when four police vehicles with about 10 policemen arrived at the place with people suspected to be government officials, earlier in the day, two bulldozer was deployed to the area.
“Shortly after the police arrived, there were gunshots in the air, I came out from the shop, where I was, and i saw people scampering for safety. The policemen were also running.
“The next thing I saw was gun weilding traders, who came out and blocked the NNPC, end of the Enugu-Portharcourt expressway and stopping vehicular movement just as they set up burn fires along the expressway. When the atmosphere became tense, I moved out of the area,” Okorie said.
The State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Aliyu, confirmed the incident.
Aliyu described the actions of the traders as “unfortunate,” saying the traders had a meeting with the State Governor, Mr Ifeanyi Ugwanyi on Wednesday night and agreed to demolish the market on Thursday.
Ijeoma Njoku reporting, Obinwannem News