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Sunday 6 December 2015

Biafra: Hausa in Onitsha go into hiding

Biafra: Hausa in Onitsha go into hiding

Scenes of pro-Biafran protests and an injured victim in Onitsha... on Wednesday.

Members of the Hausa community in Onitsha, Anambra State, who fled the town following the two-day pro-Biafran agitation fracas, which resulted in the death of about nine persons and destruction of properties, are still into hiding.

When our correspondent visited Onitsha on Saturday, the baristas, shoe menders, green grocers, barbecue sellers and allied workers, who are of northern origin, had yet to open shops.

Investigations by our correspondent showed that most of them were still in the Nigerian Army and Nigeria Police barracks in the area, apparently for fear of attacks.

During the Biafran agitation mayhem, the Onitsha central mosque, a nomadic school and many other properties belonging to the Hausa community were destroyed.

An Onitsha resident, who spoke with our correspondent, said, “After the crisis, most of them only came out in the night to do brisk businesses and disappear again.”

Efforts to get the reaction of the Military Cantonment Central Mosque, where most of the displaced victims camped, did not yield any results as nobody was willing to speak on the issue.

“We don’t talk to strangers. Our leader is not around. He is the only person who has the power to talk on our behalf,” one of the victims said.

When contacted on the telephone, the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Ali Okechechukwu, said the Police were in control of the situation.

He called on the people of the state to go on with their businesses without any fear of molestation.

He said, “The situation is calm. Nobody should be afraid or hide. The police have brought back normalcy to Onitsha after the storm and we are ever prepared to sustain the peace and order in Onitsha.”

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