Tensions have escalated in Enugu State as protests hit the Coal City metropolis after traders took to the streets to demonstrate against the sealing of their shops by the State government. The traders were protesting the closure of their businesses for not opening on Monday.
However, the situation turned violent, with at least three individuals allegedly shot dead during the protests. Video clips circulating online showed lifeless bodies of two young men and a lady.
Security forces were deployed to disperse the protesters, but it remains unclear who fired the fatal shots.
Enugu State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Daniel Ndukwe, issued a statement stating that normalcy has been restored. The police spokesman also mentioned that the peaceful protest by the traders was hijacked, leading to the unfortunate incident.
Ndukwe said: “Normalcy has been restored at Ogbete Market Enugu and its surroundings, following the report of protest by some traders over the sealing of their shops by the State Government and their attempt to force others, whose shops were not sealed, to close theirs and the entire market closed.
“The initially peaceful protest was hijacked and made to become violent.
“Traders in the market and citizens alike have been pleaded with to remain law-abiding, peaceful and cooperative, while using approved channels to express their grievances.
“Full-scale investigation has been initiated on the orders of the Commissioner of Police, while further development, especially as it concerns reports of casualties being circulated, will be communicated as soon as possible, please.”