People in Owerri, the capital of Imo State, are on high alert following the assassination of eight Nigeriens by members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB).
At Orogwe, Owerri, the assailants struck on Monday morning, targeting a building occupied primarily by Hausa migrants from Nigeria and the Niger Republic.
The northerners said that the building was targeted because IPOB mistook all the residents of the region for migrants from the North, not realising that the victims were actually foreigners.
They informed Daily Trust that they are terrified for their lives because of IPOB and its security arm, the Eastern Security Network (ESN).
Witness Abubakar Muhammad reported that the gunmen had previously stopped by the Hausa neighbourhood of Orogwe, where they spoke with residents of the village.
At the time of their arrival that evening, they didn’t appear to be armed. We had no idea they were armed because they were mingling with the crowd. However, they returned in the night and began shooting at our people. Seven people were murdered instantly, eight others were injured, and a ninth person died later in hospital. We buried them the next day,” he said, “Tuesday”.
According to Suya (roast beef) vendor Muhammad, the majority of those slaughtered were his colleagues and those in the cattle business.
The shooters had already shot at several northern travellers on Sunday, according to him.
A group of gunmen opened fire on the bus as soon as they saw it was carrying northern tourists, injuring many and killing one. After that, they attacked us at Orogwe a day later. This is becoming the new normal,” he declared.
There were eight people murdered and six injured from Niger, according to Imo State Sarkin Hausawa Alhaji Auwal Baba Suleiman, who spoke to Daily Trust on behalf of the Sarkin Hausawa family.
It was a targeted strike on an apartment complex where most of the occupants are from the Niger Republic. Dozens of people are working here, and this has been going on for a while now. “We want the government to do something,” he stated.
According to the sarki, the assailants chopped off the head of one of the victims before fleeing with it.
The Imo State Police Command revealed on Wednesday that seven individuals were slain in the attack by IPOB members.
After opening fire on a building in Orogwe, Owerri West LGA, Imo State, suspected IPOB and ESN members arrived in a black Lexus vehicle and three motorcycles, each carrying two people. The suspects opened fire on the building’s residents at Orogwe, CSP Mike Abattam said in a statement.
According to him, the residence belonged to a man named Sir Chima Ogbuehi, a Lagos resident.
When the tactical team arrived, the hoodlums had already fled, taking a blue Toyota Sienna with them. The tactical team pursued them quickly while the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) and his men transported the injured to the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, and transported the bodies to a mortuary. The DPO and his men then rushed the bodies to the mortuary and cremated them.
It is with deep regret that seven people died and six others were injured in the attack, which occurred in Owerri, Imo State.
According to a statement issued by Police Commissioner Mohammed Ahmed Barde, the investigation into the incident will be conducted “in a quiet manner” and “the command will go all out in ensuring that the perpetrators of this despicable act are arrested and brought to justice,”
Relatives were encouraged to assist the police and other agencies by providing them with reliable information and reporting any suspicious activity they witnessed in their neighbourhoods to the nearest police station.