Fear Grips Northerners as IPOB Kills 8 Nigeriens in Imo, Carts Away Head, Police React

Fear Grips Northerners as IPOB Kills 8 Nigeriens in Imo, Carts Away Head, Police React

  • Suspected IPOB gunmen have launched another deadly attack in Owerri, the Imo state capital, killing eight Nigeriens
  • Eyewitnesses said the assailants attacked a building at Orogwe, Owerri, occupied by mainly Hausa migrants from Nigeria and the Niger Republic
  • The police command has confirmed the attack and urged residents to keep calm and help with credible information that can lead to the arrest of the killers

Owerri, Imo state - Northerners living in Owerri, the Imo state capital, were reportedly in palpable fear following the killing of eight Nigeriens by members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

According to Daily Trust, the attack occurred on Monday, August 1, when the assailants attacked a building at Orogwe, Owerri, occupied by mainly Hausa migrants from Nigeria and the Niger Republic.

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IPOB Gunmen/Imo State/Nigeriens/Northerners/Police
The Imo state police command confirmed that seven people were killed in the attack by the IPOB members. Photo credit: Nigeria Police Force
Source: Facebook

The northerners said the building was attacked because IPOB took all of them living in the area to be migrants from the North, not knowing the victims were foreigners.

They said they have become afraid for their lives due to the frequent attacks on them by IPOB and its security arm affiliate, Eastern Security Network (ESN).

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Eyewitness speaks

An eyewitness, Abubakar Muhammad, said the gunmen had earlier visited the Hausa community at Orogwe Monday evening where they interacted with the Hausa people in the area.

His words:

“When they came that evening, they were not carrying arms. They exchanged pleasantries with people; we didn’t even know they were gunmen.
"But in the night, they came back shooting our people. They killed seven people on the spot, eight people were wounded, and one additional person died in the hospital. We buried them the following day (Tuesday).”

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Muhammad who sells Suya (roast beef) pointed out that most of the people killed were his colleagues and those dealing in cows.

He added that the gunmen had earlier shot at some northern travellers on Sunday, July 31.

“They opened fire on the bus when they realised that they were northern travellers; many were wounded while one man also lost his life. A day after that was when they came to attack us at Orogwe. We are now living in fear,” he said.

Sarkin Hausawa of Imo state confirms attack

The Sarkin Hausawa of Imo state, Alhaji Auwal Baba Suleiman, reportedly confirmed that the eight people killed were from the Niger Republic and that six injured persons were discharged from hospital on Wednesday, August 3.

He said:

“The attack was on the residence where mainly people who occupy the place are from the Niger Republic. They are doing their business here; this (attack) has been happening for some time. We want the government to take some measures."

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The sarki added that the gunmen cut the head of one of the victims and went away with it.

Imo police command reacts

Meanwhile, the Imo state police command on Wednesday confirmed that seven people were killed in the attack by the IPOB members.

The police spokesman, CSP Mike Abattam, in a statement said the armed men “suspected to be members of the proscribed IPOB and its arm affiliate ESN came in a black Lexus jeep and three motorcycles carrying two persons each, shooting at the occupants in a building at Orogwe, Owerri West LGA, Imo State.”

He said the building belonged to one Sir Chima Ogbuehi, a resident of Lagos.

The police spokesman added:

“The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) swiftly mobilised his men with the support of a detachment of the command’s tactical teams to the scene, but on arrival, the hoodlums had escaped almost immediately, snatching a blue coloured Toyota Sienna vehicle and the command’s tactical team speedily went on their trail while the DPO and his men rushed the injured ones to Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, and evacuated the corpses to the mortuary.

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“Regrettably, a total of seven persons lost their lives in the attack while six others sustained injuries and were rushed to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri, Imo State.
“The Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Ahmed Barde, has ordered for a discreet investigation into the incident, promising that the command will go all out in ensuring that the perpetrators of this dastardly act are arrested and made to face the full wrath of the law.”

The police appealed for calm and enjoined the residents to assist them and other security agencies by giving them credible information and report any clandestine activities observed in their communities to the nearest police station.

Reacting to the development, Senator Shehu Sani, former Kaduna lawmaker, said on Twitter:

"The attacks and killings on Hausa community in Oroge, Owerri West Lg Imo state is condemnable. There is no justification for this barbaric and Senseless acts of cold blooded murder of innocent citizens. The Imo state Government & security agencies must bring the culprits to book."

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Reno Omokri, a former presidential aide, also commented:

"Why is nobody talking about the attack on Northerners in Imo, which led to the death of 8 Nigeriens, and the injury of many Northerners? Our selective outrage is a disservice to our nation. Southern Twitter and media just ignored it. Would we ignore if it was Kano?"

Police apprehend two armed bandits in Imo state

In a related development, the Imo police command have apprehended two gunmen at Avu in Owerri West council of the state.

The two suspects, Yahaya Samaila, 23, and Saminu Abubakar, 24, both of Kware local government area of Sokoto state, were said to be among those terrorising the residents within Ama-Hausa extension area at Avu.

Police spokesman Michael Abattam said that the suspects were apprehended in the aftermath of the mandate of the commissioner of police, CP Mohammed Ahmed Barde, to the command’s tactical teams to raid all criminal enclaves including uncompleted buildings, motor parks, brothels, Indian hemp outlets and moribund school buildings.

Source: Legit.ng

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