Security personnel blocked vehicular movement at Onitsha Head Bridge early Saturday, causing severe gridlock and impeding vehicular entry and exit from the southern gateway.
Though the reason for the closure was not made public, a source told NAN that it was in response to the alleged assassination of some military personnel in the Ihiala area by gunmen in the early hours of May 29.
On Saturday, the blockade disrupted newspaper distribution across Anambra, as vehicles transporting copies from Lagos were caught up in the melee.
Vendors in Akwa, Anambra’s capital, expressed outrage at the development.
Nneka Okoye, a vendor at Aroma junction in Awka, said the situation rendered them completely unemployed.
“We are surprised to be confronted with this type of issue this morning. As you can see, there is currently no Saturday newspaper displayed here.
“The distributors informed us that the vehicles transporting newspapers were stopped at Bridgehead, Onitsha, due to an incident involving the military and residents of Ihiala,” Ms Okoye explained.
Apart from newspapers-carrying vehicles, other vehicles were similarly barred from entering and exiting Onitsha in the early hours of today.
In recent weeks, security personnel have continued to face attacks by unidentified gunmen across the South-East and South-South region.
Earlier in May, according to Peoples Gazette, gunmen attacked a police station, killing two officers and torching the structure.
Additionally, the attackers besieged the electoral commission, INEC, and the Akwa police station, causing damage and leaving casualties in their wake.
Other southeastern states such as Ebonyi, Imo, and others face a similar situation.
However, a witness stated that the military eventually opened the bridge to traffic on Saturday around 12 p.m.
When contacted, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, the Anambra state police spokesman, said the early morning gridlock at the head bridge was caused by stringent checks conducted by security operatives.
According to Mr. Ikenga, the measure is intended to keep tabs on undesirable elements.
Concerning the assassination of military personnel at Ihiala, the spokesman said he couldn’t comment because the information he had was sketchy, but confirmed that there had been a report of civil unrest in the area.
IPOB had issued a sit-at-home directive across the South-East, but the directive was ineffective in Awka, where residents were seen going about their normal business.