In Anambra State, militants of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) slaughtered a woman, her four children, and six people, all of northern descent, on Sunday.
The pregnant woman and her children were murdered in the state’s Isulo, Orumba North Local Government Area.
The murders represented a new low in the intensified attacks on non-indigenes by IPOB militants, who also target the police and the military as symbols of authority.
Anambra State and the South East in general have not been spared by the terrorists of IPOB, who have been inflicting havoc for a long time as part of secessionist activity.
However, 48 hours after the unprovoked killing of northerners on Sunday, the story has not been covered by any national print or broadcast media despite extensive coverage by social media with graphic photos of the carnage and condemnation by security operatives, groups, and individuals for a “conspiracy of silence.”
A few days after the head of an Anambra State politician who had been kidnapped by the terrorists was discovered, the proscribed organisation carried out the massacre of the northerners.
Alhaji Sa’id Muhammad, the Sarkin Hausawa of Orunba North LGA, decried Tuesday that northerners in Anambra State have decided to leave the state due to the frequent murdering of their relatives by members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN), the armed branch of the illegal IPOB.
In an interview Muhammad stated that the murder of the pregnant woman and her four children by shooters was nothing new for his people, as many of them had been murdered in a similar manner.
“The woman was from the state of Adamawa.” Prior to her passing, she resided in Orumba South Anambra, and on Sundays, she took her four children to visit her friends.
“She was slain on her way back to her home in Orumba South. She was being transported by a commercial biker when the gunmen assaulted them. “They murdered her and her four children, but the biker managed to flee,” he explained.
In a gruesome video trending on Twitter and viewed by Shauntv News, the victims could be seen laying in a pool of blood with bullets strewn about, with a narrator speaking in Igbo and stating, “Everyone should watch this video because they have shot a mother and her four children. They originated in the North. And they are firing at everyone they see on the street; therefore, everyone should be cautious.”
Our reporters claim that on the same Sunday, five commercial motorcyclists were slain and their motorcycles were set on fire at Onocha LGA. Four of the five corpses were placed in the morgue, while the fifth was reduced to ashes.
Mohammed reported that Abdullahi, who was selling roasted meat on the side of the road in Nnanka, was also killed at his suya location.
“His body stayed by the side of the road from Sunday evening until Monday afternoon, when I contacted the police DPO and begged his assistance in recovering the remains.
“He informed me that he cannot deploy his guys there due to the order to remain at home. We are now going to depart towards the north, as we can no longer remain… They are killing us every day,” he stated.
He stated that his younger brother Aliyu was similarly murdered two months earlier.
Other trucks transporting products to the South were also set ablaze in Anambra over the weekend, and the drivers and other occupants were killed, injured, or went missing. Some truck drivers from the north have reported that they now operate with fear in the South East.
Adamu Shu’aibu, who works for a private enterprise in the region, expressed anxiety at the rate at which terrorists attacked and killed drivers.
“Many of my coworkers perished due to the evil operations of terrorists, and the deaths are not being reported. Many of our coworkers have quit their driving jobs. The shooters primarily target motorists on highways with few or no security guards.”
Ikenga Tochukwu, the state’s Police Public Relations Officer, was unable to corroborate the incidents, citing the lack of information.
The command will discuss the instances once they have a comprehensive picture of what transpired, according to him.
A senior police official who did not wish to be identified, however, verified the Isulo attack.
“Communities that conceal criminals”
Monday, Echeng E. Echeng, the commissioner of police in Anambra State, accused communities in the state of harbouring criminals. He disclosed this while addressing reporters on the murders of Okechukwu Okoye, a lawmaker from Anambra State, and Cyril Chiegboka, his aide.
IPOB militants have pledged to murder additional Anambra State legislators.
A note with the threat was purportedly discovered at the location where the lawmaker’s skull was thrown.
The commissioner stated, “Some of us have labelled these individuals as “unknown gunmen,” despite the fact that they are known. We are attempting to mystify something that does not exist.
“It is long past time to demystify the term ‘unknown gunman.’ They are not spirits; they are our brothers who reside in the same communities as us. That is an undeniable fact. We recognise these individuals.
“The state security problem is a whole conspiracy of silence in which nobody sees anything, nobody says anything, and nobody hears anything.”
“Security is a shared responsibility; everyone must fight. The crimes are committed in our neighbourhoods, and we should be able to acknowledge that this is the case.
“We are praising known individuals by labelling them as mystery gunmen,” he remarked.
The police chief also refuted claims that Fulani were responsible for the attacks and murders in the state.
He asserted that information and arrest records from the state indicated differently and accused the communities of harbouring the criminals in their midst.
In the meantime, tensions have risen in Anambra State as a result of the persistent killings by IPOB militants.
The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) announced yesterday that it had taken stock of the unfolding events in Nigeria, noting in particular the unrelenting disturbances caused by certain interest groups in the South East in the form of violent attacks on people from other sections, especially the North.
Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, the group’s spokesman, said in a statement that hate campaigns and propaganda conducted by regional and ethnic agitators were responsible for unprovoked evictions, attacks, killings, property destruction, and other forms of violations against northerners in various parts of the South East.
“We are especially troubled by stories of the horrible murder of a mother and her four children for the sole crime of coming from the north.
“These killings followed earlier concerted attacks on northern traders and haulage trucks, which resulted in the deaths of several persons and the destruction of property worth millions of dollars, including the truck.
“We have observed and analysed these occurrences with great moderation and maturity, to the extent that we have condoned and accommodated a number of irrational and reprehensible behaviours committed against Nigerians as a whole and northerners in particular.
“Everyone can see that the diabolical scheme planned and displayed in the actions and cries of IPOB/ESN terror groups is supported morally and politically by the vast majority of the compliant Igbo elites, politicians, traditional rulers, and businesspeople, as well as the larger population of this ethnic group.
“It is also a scenario that feeds on the docility of a portion of the frightened northern leaders who pretend as such today.”
“The latest attacks have escalated the situation to the point that silence is now complicit and inaction is no longer an option, rendering it difficult for us to stay indifferent or mute in the face of such strong provocation.
“As representatives of numerous interest groups in northern Nigeria, the CNG says today that enough is enough.” The North will no longer remain inactive in the face of such deliberate and persistent attacks on its people and interests, and will henceforth be compelled to respond to every provocation and unjustified violation,” he stated.
The group also cautioned media outlets to report all circumstances in the country with more restraint and objectivity, especially when reporting or commenting on topics originating from or affecting northerners.
“We advise them to refrain from and avoid the slanted reporting of events with more bias towards a certain religious and ethnic group, as has been observed in the reporting of recent security situations.
“We caution that editorial policies and constraints imposed by common decency and rationality must not be abandoned by the media establishment in favour of sensational and frequently biassed reporting that only exacerbates tensions in the country,” the northern group warned.
Meanwhile, numerous social media personalities in the North have taken to Twitter to protest IPOB’s murders of northerners in the South East.
Senator Shehu Sani tweeted, “You denounce ‘the murder’ in Sokoto, but you lack the bravery and morality to condemn the murderous operations of gunmen and unknown gunmen in your area (shokoto), including the murder of a lawmaker; this is hypocrisy and cowardice.”
Gimba Kakanda also tweeted, “You supported mob justice last week because it was carried out by your kin.” Today, you feel pain and opposition since your relatives are the sufferers. And although you are urging Arewa to seek justice for Deborah, your silence on IPOB’s murder of “Hausa Muslims” is striking.
“Ahmed Musa Husaini is speaking on my behalf when he calls attention to the double standards on both sides of the Niger.” The murders in Anambra, especially the targeting of “Hausa Muslims,” are a tragedy that everyone must condemn. It also serves as a warning to those who defend jungle justice.”
Jaybee @KhaleelJibreel stated, “We should establish our own media outlets to expose any atrocities committed against us.” Stop crying foul, you cannot expect your steadfast enemy to defend himself against your insult or murder. This is how we will continue to be on the defensive if we fail to act. North is unprepared.”
Experts recommend enforcing anti-terrorism legislation in the South/East.
Kabiru Adamu, a security specialist, stated that in order to put an end to the violence in the South East, the IPOB and its armed wing, the ESN, have the legal status of a terrorist organisation, and those responsible for the violence in that region should be handled as such.
“Therefore, I believe the government should completely implement the provisions of the National Counter-Terrorism Strategy (NACTEST) and the Terrorism Prevention Act of 2022.
“This should involve using all of Nigeria’s national capabilities to identify the group’s membership, sponsorship, money, and weapons supply channels, block them, and bring their members to justice. Only this comprehensive application of the law can contain the IPOB’s horrors.
“To achieve this effectively, the government must strengthen its human and technology intelligence gathering capabilities in order to comprehend who is participating, what their objectives are, and why they are involved.
“Intelligence gathering will reveal whether other gunmen organisations are genuinely responsible for the atrocities in South East or whether IPOB is working under the guise of “unknown gunmen.”
“In addition, intelligence will enable the government to handle the threat from a position of strength through backdoor routes,” he stated.