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Northerners in Anambra run to police, army

News » Politics

Date: 20th March, 2013

Image: Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi

Following Monday’s suicide bomb attack in a Kano motor park, northerners in Awka, the Anambra State capital and Onitsha are leaving for fear of reprisal attacks.

They closed their business premises to seek protection at the Artillery Regiment of the Army and Central Police Station, Onitsha.

The police and army yesterday tried to douse the tension.

Tensions were further heightened when members of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) were sighted on major roads in Onitsha and Awka.

MASSOB’s leader Ralph Uwazuruike said there would be no reprisal attack.

He said: “We are not known for bloodletting and Ndigbo cannot be cowed into shedding blood but we want an end to this senseless bloodletting of Igbos in the North in whatever name called.”

The Chairmen of Ndigbo Unity Forum and Anambra Traders’ Forum, Augustine Cukwudum and Dede Uzor Uzor condemned the attack in Kano and described it as barbaric and a threat to the country’s unity.

They lauded the prompt intervention of the Commander, 302 Army cantonment, Onitsha , Col. T Gagariga, Navy Commander A. Ahmed and the Onitsha Area Commander, Mr. Benjamin Wordu who calmed frayed nerves.

Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Emeka Chukwuemeka assured northerners of their safety.

Chukwuemeka said anybody who insisted on going would not be prevented, adding that adequate security had been put in place.

One of the Hausa leaders said they were packing because the Igbo could retaliate what happened in Kano.

The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Anambra State condemned the attack.

The ANPP chairman, Chief Pat Orjiakor, said security must be beefed up in Kano.

Orjiakor said:”Who will replace those buses and other vehicles lost in the bombing which belonged to Ndigbo; more than half of the people who lost their lives are all Igbo.

“What I am saying is that PDP government, both in the state and federal levels have lost control of things in this country and they have no moral rectitude to stay in power.

“We have lost this number of people because of lack of their leadership qualities. Everything is falling apart in Nigeria Because of (PDP) and yet, they want to stay in power.

“We are working seriously in making sure that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is well-positioned and there is no amount of underground business by PDP that can stop the moving train.”

The ACN chairman, Chief Amechi Obidike, said the government should probe what led to the bombings.

He said: “All these misfortunes in Nigeria today are as a result of PDP’s insensitivity to the plight of their people. If Nigerians fail to rise up against the misrule of this torn umbrella by the year 2020, there may not be anything called Nigeria again.”

The ANPP urged the Federal Government to increase its intelligence gathering in order to effectively check the rate of insecurity in the country.

In a statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Emma Eneukwu, in Abuja yesterday, the party said: “The ANPP received the news of the Monday bombing of a motorpark in Sabon Gari, Kano, by unidentified terrorists which killed scores of innocent Nigerians, with deep shock and sadness.

“Once again, the wicked act of a few elements of terror has further pushed our great country to a possible anarchy.”

The party condemned the barbaric act, its perpetrators, sponsors, and commiserated with friends and families of the death in the dastard act and wished the injured quick recovery.

According to the statement, the principal task of any government is to secure the lives and property of its citizens.

“It is high time our government faced the duty it owes every Nigerian squarely.”

The party called on the nation’s security agencies to leave no stone unturned in unravelling “this heinous crime against humanity”.

“It is crucial that every necessary measure be taken to defuse the prevalent atmosphere of hopelessness in the nation as precipitated by terror attack in Kano.

“It is now manifest that the forces of evil, nibbling at the fabrics of our corporate existence as a country, will go to any length, no matter how diabolical, to achieve their satanic objectives.”

ANPP enjoined Nigerians to resist the urge to despair “in such a time like this because that is exactly what these elements want to achieve”.

ANPP expressed optimism that Nigeria would soon surmount its present troubles.

The House of Representatives yesterday mandated its four committees on police, public safety and national security, Army, and defence to work with the executive arm of government to end terrorism in Nigeria.

The committees are expected to report back to the house within four weeks.

The resolution was sequel to a motion brought to the floor of the house by Rep. Ibrahim Olaifa, (Accord Party-Oyo) which was unanimously adopted.

According to Olaifa, several innocent Nigerians have been killed in the last three years due to the activities of a terrorist group.

Olaifa explained that several conflicting details had been given as reasons why the group unleashed terror on establishments and innocent Nigerians.

“The economy of the Northern part of Nigeria, its education and other social welfare programmes have nose dived significantly and worsening the standard of living of the people,” he said.

He said the pattern of operations of the group remained mostly unpredictable, in spite of the huge investments in the nation’s security apparatus.

“The stakeholders are finding it difficult to agree on how to engage this group in order to end the situation.”

Olaifa suggested that all efforts must be made to bring the group to the table for final resolution of the crisis.

The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, also urged the Federal Government to adopt appropriate measures to tackle the lingering insecurity challenges in the country.

Bayero spoke yesterday at the scene of Monday’s explosion in Sabon Gari, Kano while on a sympathy visit.

He urged Igbos and officials of transport companies affected by the incident to support the security agencies to bring about lasting peace in the state.

The Emir, represented by the District Head of Fagge, Alhaji Mahmud Bayero, described the incident as “most unfortunate”.

“We don’t know why this thing is happening only in Kano,” he lamented and called on the people to continue to pray for the sustenance of peace in the state and the country.

He prayed to God to replenish whatever the people might have lost during the incident and for the peaceful repose of the souls of those who died.

Article Credit: The Nation News

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