Onitsha boils over closure of market
NO fewer than 30 people were wounded Friday morning when some traders at the Onitsha Bridge Head drug market tried to resist the Onitsha from closing the market to enable the traders attend the ongoing seminar being conducted for them by the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria.
The crisis would have resulted to blood bath but for the timely intervention of the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, in charge of Fegge Division of the Nigerian Police Onitsha, Mr. Rabiu Garba who mobilized his men and personally visited the market to address the warring traders.
The DPO expressed displeasure that the leadership of the market did not inform him before making announcement of the closure on Thursday; neither did they inform him yesterday that the market was actually closed, before crisis erupted. The ongoing seminar which many traders shunned was said to be in preparation for the trader movement into the Coordinated Wholesale Center, CWC for drug distribution, following Federal Government directive that there will not be open drug sale by end of July this year.
However trouble started in the market on Thursday at about 4.00pm when the leadership of the market send some people to announce to the traders that the market will not open on Friday, but the announcement was rejected by some traders with counter announcement. That the market will open, or they will break the gates to throw it open.
This resulted to a clash that led to eight people being injured between the two groups, who threatened fire and brim stone against each others.