Igbos Stay Indoors In Northern Nigeria As Security Agencies Patrol Flashpoints

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IPOB: Police Step Up Security In The North To

Forestall Breakdown Of Law And Order

– There was tension in north Nigeria on Friday, September 15 due to crisis in the southeast

Igbos living in the region feared there could be reprisals against them by northerners

– The police has however stepped security in the region to prevent a breakdown of law and order

A report by Punch newspapers indicates that there was tension in most parts of northern Nigeria following the activities of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) in the southeast.

According to the report, Igbos living in the region fear there could be reprisals against them by northerners due to the attack on some northerners in the southeast and south-south regions.

However, men of the Nigerian Army, the police, the Department of State Services, the Nigerian Air Force and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps were said to have been patrolling several areas in the states on Friday, September 15 to ensure that peace is maintained.

In Katsina, men of the police, the Nigerian Army, NAF, DSS and the NSCDC were patrolling the streets in Hilux trucks.

Some were seen stationed at the popular Kofar Kaoran Roundabout, with residents saying the situation was unusual.

“The way security operatives are patrolling the city is very unusual. I think the security agencies are trying to preempt any attack,” Musa Ibrahim, a resident in the city said.

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There was also the heavy presence of security officers in many flashpoints in the Jos metropolis, Plateau state capital.

Across the north, several shops belonging to the Igbos were closed while those who opened for business only did so hours after the Jumat prayers.

Some Igbos said their experiences during periods of religious or ethnic crisis in the past showed that northerners usually attacked them after returning from Jumat prayers.

“The state government has assured us of safety, but I’m not ready to take chances. My prayer is that the whole issue will be resolved soon. After all, Nigeria belongs to all of us and poverty does not know any ethnicity,” an Igbo trader said.

Another Igbo who owns a chemist, Andrew Eze, said he was scared there might be reprisals against them.

Most shops operated by Igbo traders in Jimeta, Adamawa state, were also locked. A store owner, identified simply as Chinedu, said the development arose after a meeting held by their association on Thursday, September 14.

“We might be targeted in retaliation for the attacks on Hausas by IPOB members in the southeast, so we decided we should close our shops while we observe the situation,” he said.

In Sokoto state, an Igbo motorcycle spare parts dealer, Uchendu Anene, said he would send his family back to his state, Imo state, on Sunday, September 17.

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His words: “I don’t want my family to be caught up in any crisis here. I will still try and wait to see what happens here because of my business. Woe betides any Igbo man caught in the north when Hausa people decide to retaliate!

“We have lived among them for 15 years and I know what they can do. In times past, before you knew what was going on, they would have killed several non-indigenes and burnt several shops.”

Some Igbo traders along the ever busy Ahmadu Bello Way in Kaduna, Kaduna state capital, also locked their shops despite police and government assurances to protect their lives and property.

Meanwhile, northern residents have been congratulated by their state governors, under the aegis of the Northern Governors Forum, for not carrying out any attack(s) against Igbos resident in the north.

The 19 northern governors stated that no law abiding citizen should be punished just because they happen to be living or doing business in any part of the country.

The governors called on all residents to keep displaying patriotism, and see themselves as equal, regardless of religion or tribe.

 

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