“The difficulties and hardship, which traders and residents in general suffer during these protests, had made the traders to react to the situation and the development and make its position very clear and unambiguous.
“The invasion of markets and other business outfits and the destruction of property of individuals like shops and vehicles in the name of pro-Biafra protest is not only condemnable but unacceptable.
“We are yet to understand the wisdom in the protest where the properties and other valuables and belongings of the Igbo are either vandalised or destroyed by fellow Igbo in the name of Pro-Biafra protest.
Vanguard reports however, in a statement signed by Chief Okwudili Ezenwankwo and Mr. Temple Udeh, the president and secretary of the group, the traders declared their support for the actualisation of Biafra. They however said they were against the action of some miscreants who they claimed had infiltrated the agitators to steal in the markets.
“To set the record straight and for the purposes of clarity, the traders are not challenging the constitutional right of peaceful assembly of any one.
We only condemned the attitude of the protesters (or miscreants that infiltrated them) that went into markets, chased the traders out and closed the entrances to the market.
“It was the maturity of the leadership that directed the security men in these markets not to challenge them, that forestalled casualties. The protest was not peaceful as it recorded casualities. If the Pro-Biafra protesters held their protest in a field or any stadium, there wouldn’t have been any issue to warrant all these misrepresentation of intentions”
The group noted that when Boko Haram prisoners were brought to Anambra, there was a peaceful protest that did not disturb the traders in the market which was unlike the pro-Biafra protests that has resulted in vandalism and looting of shops.
“That we all are Igbos both traders and protesters are not in contention, that the problem of one Igbo man shall attract the sympathy of the other is stressing the obvious. But it is against natural justice and fairness to create a more difficult problem as a solution to an existing one.