Asaba Residents Shun IPOB Protest Amid Tight Security

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Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba

The release-Nnamdi-Kanu public protest called by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) flopped in Asaba, the Delta State capital, on Friday, as it was hardly noticeable.

Although there was initial apprehension about the planned protest, which IPOB leaders said was mainly a sit-at-home directive, many residents in Asaba and environs generally went about their normal businesses though some shops remained under lock and key especially on the busy Nnebisi Road where the popular Ogbeogonogo Market is situated.

Some parents also did not allow their children and wards to ho to school apparently for fear of a possible degeneration of what was termed a peaceful protest over the continued detention of the IPOB leader, Mr Nnamdi Kanu.

Government offices, banks, schools (public and private), markets and other business premises opened for normal businesses, but traffic was fairly light on the ever busy Benin-Onitsha expressway, Nnebisi Road, Summit Road, Traffic Light/Cable Point and adjoining streets.

The state police command, which had on Thursday warned the Biafra separatist group to steer clear of Delta State concerning the planned protest, deployed about 500 policemen in several Hilux patrol vans and armoured personnel carriers at strategic points.

They include the Niger Bridge head, the state’s boundary with Anambra State, simply to forestall any movement of IPOB members between Asaba and Onitsha.

Armed policemen were also seen in patrol vehicles on major streets, in line with police assurance that people on legitimate business would be protected by the police from molestation by IPOB which advised all shops owned by Igbo traders to be shut in solidarity with its cause.