Chairman of Popular Onitsha Market Abducted Amidst Monday Sit-at-Home Tensions in Anambra State
Unidentified assailants reportedly abducted Chief Enibe Francis, Chairman of Mgbuka Amazu Market in Onitsha, Anambra State, under circumstances believed to be linked to the ongoing Monday sit-at-home protests in the region. The incident occurred shortly after Francis had opened the market on Monday in accordance with directives from state market associations.
According to sources within the market, armed individuals assaulted Francis, rendering him incapacitated before forcibly transporting him in a waiting vehicle to an undisclosed location. This alarming development comes amidst efforts by the Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, who had instructed market leaders to open their establishments on Mondays, focusing on prayer sessions and market cleanliness, as part of a strategy to counter the sit-at-home protests.
In recent weeks, market executives, led by Chief Humphrey Anuna, President of the Anambra State Markets Amalgamated Traders Association, have diligently monitored compliance with the directive in various markets across the state. Following their inspections, Anuna reported the closure of at least seven markets for alleged non-compliance.
Confirming the abduction of Chief Enibe Francis, Anuna disclosed that he had received preliminary information about the incident and that market executives were actively working to establish contact with him. Meanwhile, Tochukwu Ikenga, the spokesperson for the state police, verified the situation, stating that it was under careful observation.
Mgbuka Amazu Market, a well-known motor spare parts market, is located along the deteriorating Onitsha-Owerri Road, notorious for causing prolonged traffic delays due to flooded ditches. The abduction of Chief Francis has raised concerns and underscores the complex challenges facing the region.