One person was shot dead while commercial and other activities were Friday grounded in Onitsha the commercial city of Anambra state and its environs by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB who were protesting the continued detention of their leader Mr. Nnamdi Kanu.
Vehicular movements were also disrupted along the Onitsha Enugu Expressway, Onitsha Owerri Road, Uga Atani Ogaru Local Government Road, Onitsha Aguleri, Nsugbe, Nkwelle Ezunaka Roads, Old and New Market Roads, Nkpor, Ogidi, Obosi Roads, thereby causing traffic gridlocks on all the roads within and outside Onitsha.
Markets in Onitsha and its environs were all shot between 7am to about 2.30pm when some traders were seen loitering around their markets to see if they will be allowed to open, while some decided to go home for the day as they were also afraid that they may be attacked.
Although the Anambra State Government had announced through the market leaders who also exchanged text messages to ensure that their markets were open but the traders seemed to be unwilling to go to their markets as most of them who normally leave in the morning for their markets were sighted on their streets discussing the protest which IPOB declared earlier in the week they will embark on.
Onitsha Main Market, Ochanja Central Market Onitsha, New Tire Market Nkpor, New Auto Spare Parts Market Nkpor, Building Materials Market Ogidi, Ugwuagba Market Obosi, Electronics Market Onitsha, Bridge Head Market Onitsha that has over 21 markets attached to it and other small markets in and outside Onitsha, were all shut down.
Even shop along the streets of Onitsha, and its environs, including Awka Road, New Market Road, Old Market Road, Oguta Road, Limca Road, Iweka Road and Modebe Road, DSokoto Road and Haruna Street lock up shops were also seen under lock and keys.
The IPOB members numbering over 30,000 were earlier seen gathered at Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu Statue by Niger Bridge Head, also known as Odumegwu Ojukwu Gateway, Niger Bridge Head Onitsha chanting and dancing Pro Ojukwu and Biafran songs, from where they marched peacefully to down to Upper Iweka Flyover.
They were seen marching from Upper Iweka Flyover to Onitsha Owerri Road, to Nkpor Junction, Ochanja Central Market, Onitsha Main Market, Old and New Market Roads Onitsha, chanting anti Federal Government, Police, Army and Navy songs, demanding the release of Mr. Kanu, whom they said is being incarcerated for over three weeks now, and the continued arrest and detention of their members and actualization of Biafra activists.
There was unusual presence of the police on the major roads and streets of Onitsha, but their presence did not deter the protesting IPOB members who were also cautious of the behavior of their members to the road users and petty traders who wanted to cash in on the closure of markets and big stores and shops to do brisk business.
IPOB members who wanted to be unruly on the road users were promptly shouted on and cautioned by their leaders to behave well, that molestation and dispossessing people of their property and goods, looting of people’s shops and property was not part of their agenda.
The protest was largely peaceful as there were no information of any clash between the Police and the protesting IPOB members, until around 2.30 pm when Vanguard gathered that one person was shot at the Ochanja Roundabout by the police.
Imagine the impression one will get about London if one enters the Queen’s land through its gateway, Heathrow Airport and you are received by hundreds of fuel tankers parked or driving indiscriminately on both sides of the dual carriageway that leads into the city. Take a mental picture of potholes and craters unattended to as well as overgrown grasses in the median on the highway that leads to JFK Airport in New York. That looks impossible. However, the same cannot be said of Nigeria’s gateway to its economic capital, the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA. The dual carriageway from the airport through Ajao, leading to other parts of the city; Oshodi, Apapa etc is dotted by eyesores.
In place of well manicured lawns, flowers, decent environment and good roads, what welcome first time visitors to Nigeria through the MMIA, are overgrown elephant grasses on the median, bus garages with the attendant confusion and cacophony of noises from motor park touts, potholes and craters on the road, falling street light poles begging to be re-erected or lowered and of course the ubiquitous national embarrassment – fuel tankers that have taken over the airport road.
If the visitors arrive in the night, the darkness on that road caused by the absence of functional street lights may arouse their curiosity thinking that they are being driven into danger.
The eyesores are legion. Speaking to Saturday Sun, a resident, Edem Ukah, said that it is only in Nigeria that you see this type of disorderliness on its gateway. According to him, other climes that don’t have beautiful cities make sure that a first time visitor would have a good impression about them from their gateway before getting to the city. “ Nigerians are not concerned. We start advertising our inefficiencies and disorderliness from the point of entry into our nation.
“Look at the Mafoluku and 7 and 8 bus stops, bus garages everywhere, Okada parks and mechanical workshops. This disorderly environment is what greets a first time visitor to Nigeria. Again, look at the interchange at the beginning of the Airport road – joining Apapa road are overgrown grasses , the drainage is a toilet and under the flyover to Oshodi are block molders and other artisans. Is that the way it is in other countries even in Africa?
“We keep mouthing about tourism as the alternative to oil and our next destination, but we are not doing anything to give a lasting immersion to a first time visitor to Nigeria through Lagos, which of course is the commercial hub of the nation.”
Ike Whyte, a legal practitioner also expressed worry over the state of the nation’s gateway. He wondered why former Lagos State governor, Raji Fashola didn’t carry out his radical transformation on airport road for the eight years he held sway in the state.
According to him, the magic wand Fashola employed to transform Oshodi should also have been used on the airport road.
He said: “Oshodi, which former military governors could not make look attractive, Fashola came and within a short time transformed Oshodi to one of the most beautiful places to behold in Lagos. That is what he should have done on airport road to make Nigeria look at least a serious country for a first time visitor. Since Fashola has tackled Oshodi, maybe we pray that Governor Ambode would take on the airport road and transform it.”
There are also insinuations that the aviation fuel storage facility at the airport has been converted to premium motor spirit (PMS) depot which explains why fuel tankers have taken over the road.
Speaking on this issue, the acting General Manager (Public Relations ) of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Sam Adurogboye, dismissed the insinuations that the aviation fuel depot facility has been converted to premium motor spirit storage.
He said: “Categorically, it is not true that they have or are converting the aviation fuel depot to PMS. It is impossible. We approve whatever that is being done there, and in conjunction with DPR, which has over sight function. There is nowhere a place meant for aviation fuel would be converted for petrol. It is an imagination that is not possible.”
On the issue of fuel trucks parking along the airport road, he pointed that his agency had to alert Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) about the risk the tankers constitute to the airport environment. “There was the allegation that some of them were even cooking around the place and we moved in quickly and steps were taken and they were relocated far way to the back of the hydrant. There is a major access road being constructed for them to use when coming to off load at the hydrant in order to make their movement easy to meet up with their loading and off loading for aircraft.” He stated that though the trucks had been removed from the road before, but they defied the order to return.
On the issue of commercial buses that have constituted menace on the road, especially at the U-turn at Hajj camp, the NCAA spokesman, said the commercial buses were also relocated further from the airport vicinity and were given people to control their operation there. He promised that the attention of rele vant authorities would be drawn to this.
On the overgrown grasses on the median, he also said that appropriate authorities will be informed. “Very soon, you will see changes. I wouldn’t know the challenges the FAAN authorities are facing, but those challenges should not exonerate them from doing what they are supposed to do even if it means borrowing, they have to do that.
“We are here to ensure that everybody does what he is supposed to do so as to have a smooth operation. Be that as it may, we have consumer protection at the airport, which operates for 24 hours, not just to take complaints but to monitor and try to bring parties together to resolve their differences instead of going to court.
“ We are on top of the situation and the constructions going on in the airports are bound to cause discomfort for passengers and airport users for now as there may be relocation of parks.
“ As soon as those constructions are completed and the terminal open for use, then everything would normalize. Construction is a good omen; it is a sign of growth, it comes with discomfort but when it is over everybody enjoys it. We plead with airport users to bear with us for the time being”.
On the state of the road, he said that FERMA is already fixing it but noted that major works would be done during dry season.
One of the leaders of the Aviation Unit of National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, Chief Kilanko Solomon, said it was not true that the Jet A1 (aviation fuel) storage facility was being used for petrol storage.
Commenting on the fuel trucks on the road, he said, “those fuel tankers park on the right flank from the airport are going to MRS parking bay, opposite The Guardian newspapers at Toyota bus stop, along the Oshodi-Apapa expressway.
According to him, “when you see those trucks along the airport road, it is because there are no parking spaces at their bay, and they are waiting to be called upon to come and load at Apapa. ” He also said that they (his union) usually quarrel with them and in some cases deflate their tyres.
He admitted that the trucks that are parked facing the airport belong to their members. “They are loaded with aviation fuel going to discharge at the Jet A1 depot. The reason they park along the road is because of the weight of the truck. If they should drive to our parking bay which is marshy, those trucks would sink. So they park there until they are called in to offload.”
Don K sets off the last quarter of 2015 ablaze with this new infectious tune #Nkechi which shows off his thrilling versatility and uniquess.Recorded,mixed and mastered at Docside Studios this song is definitely a masterpiece and be rest assured you would hit the replay button as soon as u listen to it.Download it below and dont forget to share #Nkechi
Hemillion is here to stay with a brand new hit after his successful single “masquerade dance” that went viral in the street this time around he teams up with K zeal to deliver his new classic tune Title ” This Year” which the production was credited to Yungroc,download and share your thought.
Coming off his most recent production credit for the song “Lorry” by Chidimma (Ms Kedike) featuring M.I Abaga and “Funded” by illBliss featuring Black Magic and Fefe. The “In-Form” Producer “Kezyklef” releases his own single titled ‘BoliBoli’ to complete the Hat-Trick of outstanding production prowess garnished by unique vocal delivery.
The South East Producer of the year has lived up to his reputation this year.
Enjoy This Classic Song!
Off his Good to Go album, Money Making drops this hit track titled ‘The Money [Onowu]’ featuring artiste cum producer CBOX who also did the production.
‘The Money [Onowu]’ is one song you can’t deal with but just dance along and you will understand that only when you have it on your playlist.
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As a follow up to His 2 previous released singles ‘Erora & One Time’,Energetic Singer/Performer Tochukwu Moses aka ‘TCee’, serves us a brand new club/street banger titled ‘Leave That Story’.
TCee’s latest effort talks about the Lagos Night Life at popular clubs. This song is definitely going to be on every DJs playlist and looks like one that could become an Anthem in the coming weeks.
Download and Enjoy