Economic activities in Anambra stood still on Thursday following the closure of all markets and shops by traders in honour of the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, an indigene of the state.
The closure followed the two-day public holiday declared by the state government to enable civil servants and other citizens of the state to pay their last respect to the departed Igbo leader.
A correspondent, who monitored the situation at the Eke Awka main market and other business areas, reports that all the shops were closed for business for the day.
Some of the traders also gathered in groups singing songs of praise in honour of the departed Ezeigbo Gburugburu.
However, commercial transporters conveyed people from different destinations to the Ekwueme Square, the reception venue for the remains of the former Biafra leader, which arrived in Anambra on Thursday.
Commenting on the closure of shops, a patent medicine dealer, Mr Chinedu Nwosu, said the closure was in appreciation of what the late “Peoples General” did for the Igbo and Nigerians.
“Anyone who did not close his shop must be someone who does not understand what Ojukwu did for the Igbo and Nigeria.
“He was a nationalist who fought for the emancipation of the people,” Nwosu noted.
Another trader, Mr Nicholas Amah, who deals on textile and clothing materials at Eke Awka, said that “no amount of sacrifice is too much for the late Ojukwu”.
“If you tell us to close our shops for seven days, we will gladly comply because we see him as our leader and hero.
“It is true that we will lose money for closing our shops, but since it is to honour Ojukwu, we are willing to sacrifice our commercial gains to give him a befitting burial,” Amah added.
For Emeka Nwafor, a mobile phone repairer, “I have heard so much about how Ojukwu fought for Igbo people and now that he is being buried, the respect I have for him is to close my shop”.